Monday, November 21, 2011

The Art of Happiness and Growing Old - I am old, but I am happy, sings Cat Stevens

Whether you are drinking chai in a rickety old hawker stall in Kuala Lumpur...
... or walking the hallowed grounds of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, you can find
peace and contentment anywhere, however old you are.
So long as you are happy with yourself.
A By-Product called Happiness
We cannot look for happiness,
For happiness is a by-product
Of some other endeavour or condition.

We should look to do things
That from experience is likely
To leave us with a sense of happiness -

It could be in a lover's kiss,
It could be in a morning breeze,
It could be winning at chess,
It could be buying a new dress,
It could be finishing a work of art,
It could be eating a great meal,
It could be climbing a mountain,
Or perhaps the roller coaster thrill.

I am old but I am happy. You would think that knowing to do things that is likely to make us happy should come as the most natural thing to us. But of course it comes with experience because of our limited (and often mistaken) knowledge of who and what we are. It is a bit of a trial and error. It is actually years of real experience that will teach us. Perhaps that is why contentment and peace is often reserved for the elderly. This thought reassures me, as it did Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam) in one of his seminal songs entitled Father and Son...

Best of All. But whatever happens, there is nothing more likely to increase the likelihood of happiness than to be happy with your own self. It does not totally negate your sense of sadness because let's face it, s**t happens (especially when you are young). But it certainly allows you to manage your sorrows and stops your from doing anything you might later regret. Now this is a true hope for the young, but only if their elders will show them the way. Sadly the elders sometimes project their own fears, insecurities and failings on their young charge...

25. Skins
It is worrying how some people live life
At odds with the skin that they wear,

It is my life’s hope
To find peace
With mine.

Have a wonderful Monday, sunshine. May God give you long life that you may find happiness, and the highest wisdom of knowing who and what you truly are.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam

No comments: