Meaning vs happiness

  • Post category:Social
  • Reading time:4 mins read

It was about 4 years ago, when I decided that I need to focus (at least try to) on positive stories. It does not mean to ignore negative or to assume that there are not negative stories. It is about focus on the positive side. I cleaned up my social networks from clutter. Unsubscribed/ unfollowed anything or anyone that was primarily sharing negative stories. It was during that time that I came across “The Better India” portal.

For such a big country, it is not difficult to find crowd of critics. People are ready to tell you a negative story about every little thing in their or anyone’s life for that matter. I have heard those stories all my life. To be clear, it is not a phenomenon constrained only to India. I have seen the same mindset across the world. It appears that we evolved to have default focus on negatives. Which in itself is not a bad thing, as it helped us to survive in harsh conditions and run away from dangers in a timely manner. This emotion-attention-behavior relation would need an article of it’s own at the minimum. For now let’s move on to the relation between The Better India and me.

Life is about meaning (process) and not happiness (goal).  

Through their social feed, I keep on coming across positive, motivating, inspiring and uplifting stories. The reason I like them is that they are real stories and not just a motivating lecture based on some book or some old philosophy. Recently, I came across the story of the peepalfarm. Once I started, I kept on listening to the end. It was engaging for me probably because of my own inclinations towards those ideas.

The ideas were not the only reason for me to relate to the story. The timelines of the events are very close to my own life events. I also relate to the concluding message. Life is about meaning (process) and not happiness (goal). In my experience I have seen too many people clinging to happiness as the main benchmark for life. Strangely the same people never seems to be happy.

This Organic Farm Doubles Up As An Animal Rescue Centre They tell us to study, get a job, make money, get married, get a house, buy a car. But then what? Maybe that’s why lately quite a few people seem to be interested in my story. Why and how I ended up doing what I do now,” says Robin Singh of Peepal Farm. Watch him share his story. To know more, read his story here: Posted by TheBetterIndia on Thursday, August 27, 2020

One thing, however, in his story seems to be missing. He mentioned about Buddha and his life. He mentioned about transforming one’s life to give it a meaning. He only made a passing remark that some people reach their goals only to give themselves a new goal, while some never reach there. For me it is a very important point which needs to be highlighted. One needs to have a certain base, before one can start to think about transformation. Only those can see far distance, who could walk up to the mountain. The person who is stuck at the bottom, for whatever reason, should not be expected to know what is far away. There is a big population, who is high enough to look far, but they are moving with their head down.

One needs an experience of one side to appreciate the value of the other side. Buddha had all kind of luxuries in his life. That experience made him realize the difference between the sufferings of the one without those luxuries. If he had spent his life in the poorest neighbourhood or would have never seen what is beyond his palace walls, the outcome may have been different. Even, in the current story it is uncommon to hear or read about what Buddha’s comments were about leaving his family behind. Same way, I wonder, if he had not had a life experience of sufficient money and enjoyment and was struggling for one meal a day, the story would be different.

The interview is in Hindi, but the video has English subtitles. I recommend to watch it till the end. I hope it brings a meaningful smile on your face.

Keep Smiling


Arundeep Singh

“Why don’t you stop picking on me?” said Mulla Nasrudin to his wife. “I am trying to do everything possible to make you happy.” “There’s one thing you haven’t done that my first husband did to make me happy,” she said. “What’s that?” asked the Mulla. “HE DROPPED DEAD,” she said.