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Quest for happiness

india Updated: Sep 10, 2010 00:51 IST
Vanita Srivastava

A young graduate from a US university was once asked what was more important --- job satisfaction or salary package. He went for job satisfaction because if the job does not make you happy, then what use would the money be.

Money cannot buy happiness. So he joined an NGO, which worked for the uplift of street children. First seven months, he enjoyed working with them because this lifted him internally.

But soon he realised that money was more important. Unlike his other friends, he did not have a plush house, or a fancy car. So he said good-bye to the world of social service and moved on to the corporate world.

A cushy job and a handsome salary packet helped him buy a fancy car and a plush home. He had all the gadgets one could fathom, all the luxuries one could imagine. He savoured all the comforts, his friends envied him and his social circle widened.

But again a year down the line, the same dissatisfaction crept. I have everything in this world. I can go on a world tour, buy anything that I feel like — but then I am still not happy. And so he quit his job and went to a lepers' home, where he started working for their rehabilitation. He started eating with them, sleeping with them.

Many in the society, even his family members, would pass caustic remarks: " Why had you gone to the US to study, if you had to ultimately do this. This does not require any degree and investment of money."

Most of us are like this youngster, hopping from one ground to the other in search of happiness. We have coined our own definitions for happiness. Why can't we be happy when we see a handicapped child, smile away his sufferings? Why can't we rejoice when we see a butterfly sip nectar from a flower? Why can't we be happy to see an army of ants make a living for themselves?

We have a lot to learn from them. Just think.