”To find the kingdom is the easiest thing in the world but also the most difficult. Easy because it is all around you and within you, and all you have to do is reach out and take possession of it. Difficult because if you wish to possess the kingdom you may possess nothing else. That is, you must drop all inward leaning on any person or thing, withdrawing from them forever the power to thrill you, or excite you, or to give you a feeling of security or well-being. For this you first need to see with unflinching clarity this simple and shattering truth: Contrary to what your culture and religion have taught you, nothing, but absolutely nothing can make you happy. The moment you see that, you will stop moving from one job to another, one place, one spiritual technique, one guru to another. None of these things can give you a single minute of happiness. “
– Anthony de Mello, The Way to Love (via inward/outward)
There’s a lot of unhappy people around. There’s a lot of activity to “search for” and “arrive at” a satisfactory stage of happiness. In our efforts to “liberate” ourselves, the irony is we become increasingly “imprisoned” by our misplaced confidence and security in “stuff” which were never meant to provide the happiness we are looking for. They maybe the places where happiness may be discovered. They have the potential to become the means where we might be surprised by happiness. But they are no guarantee for for happiness.
Yesterday, afternoon while taking Elysia for her first Light Rail Transit (LRT) ride during rush hour to the center of the city. Gareth, she and I were packed like sardines and had no place to sit for the first few stations. There were 2 little moments of happiness for me. One was when a Muslim lady winked at her and Elysia responded with shyness. No words were exchanged. Just a smile and acknowledgment. The second was when a nice lady gave up her seat for the kids. Gareth and Elysia started a little conversation with me on why are there lights in the tunnel. Elysia was still absorbing the experience of being in a packed train with so many people. For some strange reason, I felt happy to be there.
Oh yes … the extra bonus is when the two siblings were chasing each other at the open space where the fountain and park is located in KLCC. There was so much laughter when they could run freely. I guess happiness “happens” more when we’re open to the gifts that are offered to us. When it’s a goal to be pursue, it’s a little bit more tiring and makes room for more disappointment (especially when it’s contingent to false expectations!).