In this video, I tell the story of a man who searched and found the village of happiness.
I am surprised when people say that they are seeking happiness in their lives. I am surprised because the very idea of seeking happiness makes no sense at all. Only those that don’t really know what happiness, real happiness is, will try to find it. They’ve heard of this word, “happiness” from other people, from their family, friends, on read it in books or heard it in movies, and they don’t really know what it actually means, in its purest and truest form.
What most people call “happiness” could be better defined as “satisfaction”, “reward”, “pleasure”, which couldn’t be more distant from the real essence of happiness. And yet this is what they seek, what they are looking for: satisfaction ,reward, pleasure, disguised as happiness. And if they knew what it actually means, and what real happiness is, perhaps they would be no longer interested in finding it. Either because they’d be disappointed , or because they’d simply realize that happiness can’t be found in the way they thought it could be.
I’d like to share with you a simple but significant story. You wont hear of this story or read it anywhere else because it was shared with me by someone who I met while I was looking for happiness some time ago.
The Village Of Happiness
After a long journey through the forest, a solitary traveler reached the gates of a village. The gatekeeper of the village asked him “Why do you want to come into our village?” With great hope in his eyes, the traveler said “ I am seeking a new home, for the place I come from has become full of sadness. Maybe I will find happiness again in this village. This is why I am here”. “This place is also full of sadness” ,the gatekeeper replied calmly “What makes you think you will find happiness here?” .
The traveler seemed disappointed. He had traveled for days, he had gone through dangers of all kind just to find another place full of sadness. Hence, he looked down and turned around, getting ready to go home. But the gatekeeper was a wise man. “Wait a moment. Just a few miles from here is another village”, he said while pointing to a small path across the valley .“I have heard that you can find happiness there”.
The traveler looked hopeful again. He thanked the man as he made his way down the small path. After a few days he reached another small village. This village had no gates around it, and looked like it had been destroyed by some atrocious war. The houses were all falling apart and the streets were empty. The traveler felt lost while walking through this god forsaken place.
Sitting outside a small shed was an old man whose eyes lit up when he saw him. The traveler approached him anxiously. “I have heard I could find happiness here” said while looking in the old man’s gray eyes “But all I see is misery and desolation”. The man smiled nostalgically. “You are indeed right. Once this place was full of happiness”, said the man slowly and in a dreaming tone “because everyone was making each other happy. People were living in harmony with each other. But one day things changed. Some people stopped making others happy, and began seeking their own satisfaction instead. Therefore sadness came. Misery came. War came.”
The traveler stood silently. He understood why the gatekeeper of the other village sent him there. He realized he had been wrong all along in his quest for happiness. When he returned to the gates of the first village, the gatekeeper was still there. “Did you find happiness?” he asked the traveler. “I will stop seeking happiness.” The traveler replied smiling. “I will come back home and begin to make my family and my people happier. In this way, if everyone else will do the same, my village will be full of happiness again.”
Seeking vs Making
Happiness is not something that you can searched and found. It is something that you need to cultivate within. It’s not a process of “seeking”, is a process of “creating” of “making” And you don’t need to go anywhere or buy anything. Happiness is a natural phenomenon that flourishes spontaneously.
Remember that you can only create happiness for you when you start making others happy, when you share your happiness with others. It is easy as that. In life, the only things that you really have are those that you have shared with others.
If you seek happiness when it’s not around, you are in fact, moving away from it. If you cling to happiness, happiness it will disappear. True Happiness only knocks on the door of those who are able to appreciate the lack of happiness, or sadness. Sure, happiness might come and then also leave, but that’s how real happiness is. Just be open and accept whatever the existence is offering you. Happiness or sadness, just live it, and be grateful. Unconditional gratefulness is the first step on the ladder to be a spiritual person.