Like many of my other write-ups, this article also starts with a small story, so that I can fully connect with you.
A short story:
Once, there was a sparrow. She realized that her chick is fully grown up. She did not want the child sparrow to be dependent on her anymore. She wanted her child to experience the life austerities and struggles. After all, her chick had experienced all the comforts.
She felt that it was the right time for her chick to experience and challenge the other side of life. One day, she gave her valuable life lessons and made her aware of the cruel realities of life. Finally, she made her realize that now the time has come where her chick should learn how to live an independent life.
So, the mother sparrow asked her chick to build a nest on its own. She advised her to be very careful while making it.
The baby sparrow fled here, there, everywhere to collect the twigs. While she was collecting the twigs, she came across a field covered with mustard plants. It was a beautiful yellow field full of mustard beans. The field was well plowed, and therefore, there were soft worms on that plowed field. Seeing that, the baby sparrow was overjoyed. No better food she could have asked for.
The mother sparrow once came to see how her child was progressing. The baby sparrow narrated her mother how she is planning to prepare her nest on that plowed field. She described her everything; the mustard seeds, the flowers, and the worms. The baby sparrow thought that she has made her mother proud and was expecting a pat on the back.
To her shock, there was a very stern look on her mother’s face. The mother sparrow wanted her child to be aware of the cons associated with her decision. It made the baby sparrow furious as she was very high on life and didn’t want to take any of her mother’s advice. The concerned mother tried a lot to make her daughter realize, but all went in vain. The disheartened mother sparrow left.
The baby sparrow did not get affected by it at all. Without giving a second thought, she built her nest on the strongest branch of one of the trees in that particular field. It was a well-built swinging nest. Besides, it was all beautiful and colorful around. The baby sparrow felt victorious that she did not have to move around in search of food. Within no time, she got addicted to the luxuries of life.
Gradually, her wings could no longer support her weight. The baby sparrow started to feel dull, lethargic and sluggish. The weather changed, which added to her plight. Because of the weather change, the flowers began to fall, and the worms started to disappear. What more, one day a farmer came and harvested the entire field.
The baby sparrow could hardly analyze what was happening around. What once looked like an ideal life turned out to be the worst of nightmares for the baby sparrow. The complete turnaround reminded her of her mother. The chick wanted to meet her mom. However, she did not have the physical strength to move (because of the over-weight) nor did she have the mental courage to face her mother.
But somewhere inside, she knew that reaching to her mother was her last and the only hope of survival. Finally, after the persistent trials, she fled and reached to her mother.
To her surprise, again she got an opposite reaction from her mother to what she was expecting. The mother sparrow was not shocked to see her child. She was already expecting her child anytime. She had a pleasant smile on her face after seeing her child. It was indeed a “happy realization” for the child sparrow.
Moral of the story:
Today’s world is full of alluring mediums which will attract you towards it, fascinate you, enchant you. That pull is sometimes so high that you get lured into it. and you taste its feel. It gives you happiness and pleasure. You enjoy it to the fullest.Friends, the joy and the pleasure you derive from feeling it is Materialistic happiness. In other words, your happiness which is not because of you is Materialistic Happiness.
A few questions?
It is making you feel happy so what is wrong in getting pulled by the drive? It is giving you worldly pleasures so why not keep on enjoying it? However, is it actually making you feel happy and content? Will it stay with you throughout your life? Are you getting attracted towards it for the right reasons? Well, materialistic happiness brings along many questions with it.
Rest assured, the happiness is momentary. It is short-lived because you quenched your thirst for happiness by plunging into it. Your happiness lasts until the time that moment lasts. Simultaneously, it means you were not happy before, which somewhat pushed you to choose this option. It fades away quickly because you waited for a moment to be happy. One thing which you need to realize is that it always takes YOU AWAY FROM YOU.
What exactly is the problem?
The problem begins when you start enjoying the feel of materialistic happiness to an extent where you start craving for it. Remember, when you crave for it, you become dependent on it. The time comes when you are so much engrossed in feeling that happiness that your real identity begins to dodge you. It starts to divert you from your ambitions and goals.
The level of problem elevates when you are not able to distinguish between the right and the wrong. It worsens when even after the realization of the wrong; you are not able to stop yourself. You commit it again and again. Eventually, it leads to deadly addiction where you no longer remain the controller of yourself.
Quenching the thirst of one materialistic happiness leads to the desire for another.This endless flow of desires never gives you peace. You might get all the things in this world in the process but, not the real happiness. You get trapped in this vicious circle, which makes you dependent for happiness. You start waiting for a moment to be happy and keep delaying the real happiness.
Remember, Delaying Happiness denies Happiness. You need to understand that happiness is in the present moment. It is not time and place-bound. It is INSIDE YOU. Life is short and unpredictable. Your biggest reason to be happy should be that the next moment is unpredictable.
See, life is unpredictable with a lot of twists and turns. There will be ups and downs. There will be highs and lows. But, don’t you think it is unfair on your part if you are only enjoying the luxuries, comfort, victories fortunes, success; and surrendering to the pain, discomfort, losses, misfortunes, and failures. Yes friends, if you do not accept your now and feel happy about it, it will be extremely difficult for you to face the cruel realities of now. Don’t you think it is a big question on your pride, dignity, and morals?
What should you do?
There comes a time in your life when you are the most vulnerable and prone to opt for materialistic choices. It is because of a simple reason that opting for those choices is the easiest option at that point of time. But are these the life choices right?
Believe me, they are not. Always remember that you cannot run away from time. Time will hit you back harder and this time around, you will not be able to handle the intensity of the hardness. Always keep in mind that it is only the struggling times which will test your patience, endurance, character, and attitude. It is only when you face the tough times, you can challenge it. Subsequently, it is YOUR CHALLENGE TO YOU which makes you healthy both mentally and physically. ARE YOU READY TO ACCEPT YOUR CHALLENGE?
Amanpreet Singh is the founder of Happy Realization. From the negatives of depression to the positives of meditation, he loves expressing his experiences and the practical life lessons which he calls his Happy Realizations. He is a guest blogger at respectable publications like Pick the Brain and Dumb Little Man.