The other day, as I stepped out on the balcony to sip my morning tea, and just started to enjoy the bright orange flowers on the roadside, blooming against the brilliant blue summer sky, a sudden unintelligible shout disturbed my peace. To my horror, I looked down to see four agitated men running through the streets, some intentionally causing damage to the parked cars, while others caught hold of a young man probably in his early twenties, punching him so hard that he fell on the ground. He tried to get up but others were in no mood to stop.
It was a pretty horrendous thing to even stand there, watching the young man getting beaten up brutally. After a few seconds of shock, I shouted, “Hey Stop it…What’s happening there?” from the balcony. Not sure if the men even bothered to listen to what I said, but a police van landed in no time to put an end to all the confusion.
By then, morning walkers, security guards of other apartment and several other onlookers started jamming up, offering them their ‘invaluable’ comments and opinion, and some even looked busy capturing those moments of chaos on their mobile phones. It was a matter of only a few minutes and police happened to make a strange yet welcome interruption here…. But those undesirable few minutes were enough to disturb your inner peace. To say the least, it was pretty disgusting.
No wonder, we live in an age of outrage – where anger, resentment and fear rule over its combatants love, friendship and respect. I must admit to having being caught up in the outrage machine myself.
It’s kind of fancy to flag off angry tweets, write fiery Facebook updates, post snarky comments, and so on. It shows our outrage about our neighbors, state of the world, about people who are in some way or the other ‘different’ from ours. There’s so much of resentment that things aren’t working out exactly as we would like them to; and fear of what the future holds. As a consequence our daily lives are eked out amid a litany of complaints.
End of the day, you sit and wonder, what purpose does that serve? Not only are we eaten up with negativity about the rest of the world, we also end up being angry, depressed and dissatisfied about our own lives.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I am tired of living like this. So, in an effort to look past all that is awful and actively search for the good, I am now keeping what I call a ‘piggy bank of happiness’ and it is just working wonders. So I decided to share this thought with you.
We have a small piggybank where, instead of putting money, we put our happy thoughts. We started writing down our happy thoughts and insert them through the small open slot. We then come together once a week to read them and share a happy moment with the family.
This Saturday, as I opened my weekly piggy bank, I found so many wonderful thoughts in it: a phone call from my friend who lives abroad. We chat, we laugh, we catch up on our lives, we make plans to see each other soon. Old friends. Something to be truly grateful for.
Another thought in the piggy bank – as I was clearing out my cupboard last week, I stumble upon an envelope of old pictures: my childhood pictures with the entire family framed in it, lovely time at a riverside with my parents, zoo time with my aunt and cousin – lovely moments captured, laughing our heads off at some long-forgotten joke. And a priceless photo of myself with my college friends, the zesty, carefree souls, with not a care in the world. You really can’t put a price on that.
Here’s one more… Sunday mornings are the day to experiment with breakfast options. This time, I tried Bread masala, a snack I first had during my university days in Manipal [near Mangalore, India]. It was sold at food carts catering hundreds of students like us, who often stay awake in the pretext of late night studying. I put together the ingredients from memory, try and get the exact degree of crispness and sauce. And guess what? It’s absolutely perfect. The taste of my university in every delicious mouthful. My son just loved it crazy.
There are so many more -a moment from my karate class, Kush’s first word, a fun event in the family…. oodles of fun and laughter with friends at the school reunion.
At the end of the day, I have come to believe, it is in these tiny moments of joy that true happiness lies. And I am so grateful for each such moment in my life that I have decided to document it. In the little piggy bank of happiness, I can dip into whenever I am feeling sad and depressed and thank our stars for so many happy times gone by and pray for many more that’s yet to come.
I may not revolutionize the society, but through my blog, I can at least spread the word. So, all I can say is take a moment out to count your blessings; you will feel much happier for it. And just like charity, happiness can also begin at home, if we make an effort to be happy.