A phone call from my four-year-old nephew one evening made me smile. Most adorable and charming for his age, he can make you smile anytime just like that. In his husky, innocent and breathless voice, he said, ‘Aunty, I stole your strawberries.’ ‘From where,’ I asked. ‘From your garden, the strawberries you planted had ripened. You were not there but I ate them,’ he said, and delightfully added, ‘they were big red ones and very yummy!’
One holiday at home in springtime, I made a small strawberry patch around the house not knowing how well they would grow. Long after it and far away from it, I never saw it spread so well in the rain. I never saw it bear fruits in the sunshine. But folks at home told me how well they grew and what a nice and healthy spread it was, and how the kids delightfully savored them. They were happy and what joy I felt. I was happy they enjoyed the fruit of my small labour. The pleasure was mine. I did it my way. I grew happiness. My small and humble strawberry garden helped spread unsullied joy. So, here it is—Life is not about chasing happiness, but finding happiness in small things, creating it and spreading it.
Rich or poor, no matter what one has or don’t have, everyone wants to be happy. And so, man’s relentless pursuit for happiness persists. But time and again we are told that we cannot run after happiness—happiness is about being content with what we have. Happiness lies within. And, by making the best of what we have we can create happiness around us.
As much as money cannot buy love, true happiness cannot be bought. But as much as love can grow, happiness can also grow. But never or rarely do we think of growing happiness and rarely do people look for happiness in small things. Sometimes we fail to see.
The world loves big things and most people think big things, big possessions, big positions and big life will make them happy. But achieving big things in life can only give momentary happiness, or the longing for more.
True happiness is found in small things, in small acts of goodness and kindness. And we can grow true happiness. Growing happiness is easy. There is no one way. We can do it in thousand different ways. A small kind act, giving, sharing, loving, and indulging in simple pleasures such as growing flowers, planting trees or planting smiles…, the list is endless.
Growing happiness can be as simple as wearing a smile or saying ‘thank you,’ to begin with. One doe not need big words. Just two simple words and the other person is happy hearing it and you feel good doing the simplest right thing to do. It is as easy as that. A small praise, few kind words or a simple ‘do it for others’ can go a long way in growing happiness and spreading it.
Kindness sparks off happiness. May be not so in some cases. There are times when you give and give and you get nothing in return, and you become disheartened. But, true kindness is selfless. It’s always giving and never asking.
Now, the essence of happiness is being positive. Only a positive mind can see goodness in everything and can generate gratitude. Gratitude creates happiness. However, gratitude in hard times is not easy. It is difficult. But only when you begin to see goodness around and start counting colours in your life no matter what situation you are in, you begin to feel joy within. And only when thanking God becomes your daily ritual, joy becomes you and you ultimately become a joyful person. You learn to smile effortlessly no matter what you are going through and you can laugh at adversities. This is because gratitude generates the strength to face anything in life gracefully.
To sum it up, growing happiness is seeing and doing the simple good things in life. Happiness is also making the best of what you have—your mind, your heart. Make them big. A thankful, loving and giving heart and mind is where happiness grows.