It is advisable to enjoy life how it is and as it comes. Our sufferings are no more, and no less, than of others.
We become happy when we overcome worries. The secret of happiness lies in forgetting the past, living in the present, and not worrying for the future. Peace of mind and happiness is also achieved by doing social work, lending a helping hand to the needy; in this way we can create happiness for others as well as for ourselves. When we make others happy we get even more happiness in return for ourselves. Thus we can get rid of stress and enjoy happiness.
Money can’t buy us happiness, though it may get us material things. The pursuit of money makes us self-centred and greedy. The more money we have, the more we want. Therefore, it is not advisable to make money the sole aim of life. We need happiness for the growth of our mind and soul and for our spiritual well-being. Happiness is a state of mind and is everlasting, while money can come and go and may become obsolete even. In fact, the quality of our life depends on the happiness gained and worries overcome by us. Money is a way or medium to fulfil our needs but happiness is the ultimate goal of life.
To give too much importance to money, to the detriment of other values of life, like love and compassion, is not desirable. It is also wrong to assume that money is everything. There are many situations where money is of no use to us. One such anecdote has been narrated by Sheikh Saidi Shirazi (RA) in his book. Sheikh Saidi (RA) was a renowned poet and philosopher of Iran. He was a globetrotter. Once he was very hungry and had no bread to eat. He had a bag full of gold with him instead. He said to himself that a piece of bread was better than a bag of gold.
Hazrat Sheikh Hamza, Sultan Arifeen (RA), was another great saint (wali) who belonged to Kashmir. One of his disciples one day thought that they had no money to enjoy and that they lived too simple a life. The Sheikh ordered him to bring some dry pieces of clod to be used as tissue paper. His disciple went and found that there were no clods and that the whole hillock had been turned into gold by the miraculous powers of Sheikh (RA) and that the gold could not be used as tissue paper. So he returned empty-handed. The Sheikh (RA) thus made him understand an important lesson: that the gold (wealth) was not worth even a tissue paper and it was wrong to aspire for such superficial things.
If you think you are unhappy and lack some things, look at the people who are less privileged than you are. In this way you will stop complaining and will be grateful to your lord, the Almighty God. A man was worried because he had no shoes. He went out and saw another man having no feet even. He thanked God and said that he was happy without shoes because at least he was having his feet. A wealthy man could not sleep because of insomnia, despite being in possession of a comfortable and costly bed. He saw a poor man sleeping on the bare ground without a bed. The wealth and costly bed was of no use to the rich man as it could not even give him sleep. On the other hand, a poor man, devoid of any luxuries, was enjoying a sound sleep and was a happy person. If you are worried that your salary is low, think of the beggars thronging the streets begging for alms. Similarly, if you think that you don’t have many friends, look at the people who make dogs and other pet animals their friends. No doubt, we may also be suffering in this world but we are not alone. There are so many others who suffer more than us. If your relatives and society are unfair to you, look at the elderly people who have been deserted by their own sons and daughters and are living in shelter homes.
It is, therefore, advisable to enjoy life how it is and as it comes. Things are worse for others but are a lot better for us. There are many things in our life which we enjoy while many others are deprived of them. We tend to exaggerate our sufferings and think that the sufferings of others are lesser than ours. If we are to exchange our sufferings with someone else and think that their suffering is less than ours, it will eventually prove wrong.
Material possessions can’t make us happy. In fact, living in this world is beset with problems. One should not give much importance to this world, as worldly life is worthless, unimportant, and very short. We have been created with flaws and deficiencies and are in many ways helpless and weak. Our helplessness and weaknesses are manifest in so many ways. The world is plagued by natural disasters, pandemics, wars etc. We have to come face to face with such helplessness and weakness and live with them. It shows our frailty and reminds us of the imperfections in this world and that only Allah is perfect. If we leave everything to God’s will and our destiny, we will stop worrying and real happiness will then come our way.
We should be thankful to the Almighty that we are fortunate to have much more than we need. We must be content with what comes our way. Real happiness will come this way which no money on earth can buy for us.
It has been well said: “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, but dwells in the soul.”
The writer is a retired telecom engineer.