I first learned the process of giving and receiving happiness through my youngest cousin Hans. He was 2 years old back then when he stayed in our house along with my aunt. Every morning before class, I would usually go downstairs to see if he was awake so I can finally play with him. He was my stress reliever. Despite having a hell week full of exams, I still managed to relax and enjoy the day because of him. His happiness of being a free spirited child who had no worries in life made me feel great and happy too. And I guess it soon reflected in me as I started buying things for him. I always make sure that I have yogurt with me so that whenever I get home, I would see his wide smile thanking me for the treat. It’s a great sense of genuine happiness that I receive, which then I thought I should also share to others.
I don’t know where happiness began, but all I know is that we cannot give what we do not have. Sometimes we get happiness from money, clothes, food, or comfort. There are also times we find happiness from our friends, our family members, or our loved ones. We can get happiness from other people, and most of the time, after receiving that much, we feel the capability to give that much.
From my 21 years of existence, I used to wonder why some things produce happiness that only lasts for hours or for a day. What makes happiness genuine? What makes it life changing? I then realized that for happiness to be on its utmost– beyond the physiological, safety, social, or recognition satisfaction– we gain the most from happiness through self-actualization. When it is no longer about what the food can give to us, but what our food can give to others. No more about what our friends can do for us, but what we can do for our friends. Finally, it’s no longer about what honor we receive, but what we can give honor to.
“Genuine happiness can only be achieved when we transform our way of life from the unthinking pursuit of pleasure to one committed to enriching our inner lives, when we focus on ‘being more’ rather than simply having more”. – Daisaku Ikeda
Just like that smile from my 2-year-old cousin who used to welcome me with both arms wide open and jumps of joy after seeing what I got for him– that is the kind of happiness which I believe lasts, the one that touches the heart and the one that won’t be easily forgotten.
It is not costly to find this kind of happiness and it is not rare. Sometimes it just takes one more extra effort. Every day is an opportunity to find it, and also an opportunity to share it. Those random acts of kindness, like letting an elder take a seat in the bus. Give the other burger from your Buy1Take1 Burger to someone on the street. Appreciate a cleaner on duty while it’s Christmas and everybody’s enjoying the holidays.
These things, I admit I experienced and these are not something to brag about but to share to others. As we give that extra appreciation and try to make them feel happy about themselves, we also receive the same or even more happiness than what we gave. I think happiness doesn’t have to cost that much, but it pays us back even more.
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion