Monday, June 04, 2007

The balancing act

Tucked amidst Hinduism’s overabundance of wisdoms is an existential gem.

“Every person is born with a fixed quota of joys and sorrows.”

Let’s measure joy and sorrow with the unit of ‘hours’. Say you are born with 150 hours of happiness and 75 hours of sadness in your life.

So if you’re happy, good for you. Enjoy it. You deserve it. But remember how grief feels. And be sensitive to those who are not as happy as you right now. But if you’re sad, angry or unhappy, try to find solace in the fact that your quota of sorrows will be diminishing by as many hours as you grieve. Look forward to the happiness that’s waiting at the end of your sorrow. You deserve sorrow too but just so that you appreciate happiness more the next time it visits.

It’s like light and darkness. Darkness does not exist physically; it’s merely the complete absence of light. Bask in the sun, sleep off the darkness. You’ll wake up all sparky when it’s light.

So the next time you are sad, annoyed or angry, try to think happy thoughts. Smile at your boss, throw a biscuit at the neighbour’s noisy mutt, take your work for a walk, smile at complete strangers, smile at co-commuters who jab their elbows in your side, give someone a hug, swim a few laps, send flowers to that girl who broke your heart, listen to music, watch a sunset, throw a punch at a cushion and, hey, go get wet in the rain.


Ipsita said...

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?”

I think this quote by Khalil Gibran suitably sums up what you wrote.

To a certain extent I believe in it too. It gives me hope. However I also cannot help but wonder at the paradox of this theory. If I am going through an unfortunate phase in my life, I live in hope that one day it will end. But what if I am happy and contented with my life? Do I live in perpetual fear?

Ashish. said...

Well, yes, you're right... the theory does leave a lot unexplained... for instance, as you pointed out, if I'm happy, should i live in the fear that sorrow is imminent...

to bhejaafry the theory: If I'm to feel happy when I'm sad, won't my sadness become my happiness? and vice versa? Also, what if I decide to exhaust my quota of sorrows at one go by grieving incessantly?

Sapphire said...

Well written article.