Everyone in this world craves for a happy life. It is difficult to define happiness as it is a state of the mind and it is subjective. Happiness is related to material glory and splendour by some. Some associate it with the health of a man while for some it lies in a sort of contentment with whatever one possesses.
People crave for happiness. Happiness to them is just good and comfortable dream. The manner of living has various standards. Everyone, therefore, has his own concept of happiness. Most men are dissatisfied with their present state of affairs and condition. One always wants an increasing amount of materialistic assets. A poor man living on the roadside will be aspiring for a hut while a hut-dweller will be aspiring for a house. A house owner may be aspiring for a beautiful bungalow and a bungalow-owner may be aspiring for a posh-residence.
Thus, the question arises where does real human happiness and solace lie? Generally speaking, material splendour and prosperity are considered to be the main factors leading to happiness. A wealthy man enjoys all the comforts, luxuries, amenities and facilities lite But does he consider himself to be really happy? A rich man may be the master of millions but even then, he may be unhappy due to ill health. Being ill, he cannot enjoy all the pleasures of life. He considers himself to be a condemned and cursed man in this world. And when he finds himself amidst wealth, he is all the more troubled. His state of mind is not elevating. Rather, he is always in a mood of melancholy. We, thus, conclude that wealth is not the only criterion of a truly happy life.
It is an admitted fact that poverty and happiness are diametrically opposed to each other. But there have been some instances when we find poor people quite happy and gay. Their minds are not corrupted by the sweeping changes of times. Their lives are balanced and happy. They feel contented with their meagre resources and they believe in the following lines of Wordsworth:
“Be content with what you have
Little be it or much…”
Such people are really happy. Their mental states are always calm. Otherwise, there is no end to the desires of human beings. Human desires are infinite; they multiply with the fortune. A millionaire longs to become a multi-millionaire and this vicious cycle for acquiring has no end to it.
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Moreover, humanity is a strange lot. People always want what is not in their possession. So, their desire to acquire and possess leads to aspirations but their failure to achieve those aspirations bring frustration Craze for more things and its unfulfillment leads to unhappiness and melancholy. This world is really a strange place and has been aptly described by famous poet Shelley in the following words:
“We look before and after
And pine for what is not”
A happy life results from a state of mind. Health is! also one of the most important factors that promote happiness. A healthy man can take strolls in the morning and can enjoy the fresh air of the fields and fragrance of the flowers by visiting a garden. A poor but healthy man can spend his time in sports and games and can resort to other entertainment and recreation that are cheap and easily accessible.
Therefore, we can conclude that the very secret of happiness lies somewhere else and not in the mere possession of huge wealth. A wealthy man always remains in a state of tension because he fears being attacked by thieves and dacoits. But ideal happiness is in a man who always does the right thing, never hurts the hearts and minds of others and is a God-fearing person. One’s actions and ambitions must be good. Good actions also lead to happiness. Contentment with the prevailing circumstances is another factor that promotes happiness. Thus, Shakespeare was right when he wrote:
“Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
Everything appears to be pleasant to a happy mind and unpleasant to a diseased mind.