What does it take to be Happy?

What makes a person happy? I can give several good answers that I think would make me happy but there is nothing better than the answer I saw a few days ago.

Having had the rare opportunity of meeting and knowing people from both ends of the social spectrum, I have come to realize that happiness in life depends on how you would like to live your life.

A rich businessman who has almost everything could sometimes feel so dejected and disappointed because of not winning a multimillion dollar business deal.

And yet the poor man in the countryside who barely has anything in life feels so happy just to be able to earn $5 in one day from hauling sacks of corn in cobs using his horse.

A week ago, as I was coming down from a visit to my birthplace (a remote village some 30 miles away from where we currently stay), I passed by a convoy of horses laden with sacks of corn in cobs which were being hauled from remote farms to the corn shelling facility nearby.

ImageThe men handling the horses, which they obviously owned, were evidently happy to see me come down from my vehicle to offer handshakes and talk to them. I learned that one of them was my distant relative and he was very happy to know that. The feeling of acceptance from someone traveling in a vehicle, and wearing a wristwatch and sunglasses made them so happy. I lack the exact words to describe how happy they were except to say I saw nothing but genuine happiness.  Is that how a wealthy businessman would also feel after winning a multimillion dollar business deal? I doubt. I really doubt it. Genuine happiness is not like anything. It was simple, lasting, so memorable, pleasantly savored and so meaningful, I am sure they cannot stop telling and retelling the story of that encounter.

They had no watches in their wrists, no wedding rings to show their marital status, no leather wallets and were wearing old clothes trampled over by time. Yet, they were a picture of complete happiness. Their horses looked healthy and having been raised in the farm I, of course, understand that healthy animals are proofs of a farmer who happily takes care of his beasts of burden.

No big dreams, but just a simple wish that after a long walk to guide their horses through, they would go home to their families with 2 kilos of rice, a kilo of dried fish, and some salt and sugar to feed the family. And they do not even worry what is up for them the next day!

The sight of these people so contented living simple lives made me ponder on why some people could not be contented with their position and possessions in life and were rather too preoccupied satisfying their lusts and greed for things that they really do not need (such as several high-tech electronic gadgets most of them have related functions or having more than one of the same kind, racing cars, costly vacation homes, etc.).

I envy the poor man who, after a long day’s work, could rest his tired body in a hammock under the shade of the fruit trees he planted and enjoy the fresh air blowing gently from the mountains nearby where spring waters flow.

“Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the earth.”


(P.S.: It is not for us to begrudge the rich for the misery of the poor. Wealth acquired through hard work and honest means are good wealth).


About Maxim Sense

I hope to write for a cause someday but for now all I wanted really is to write for a cost and I haven't started yet, or better still, nobody wants to pay me :-)
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6 Responses to What does it take to be Happy?

  1. Colline says:

    These people have so much of what we have forgotten living in the rat race: simple pleasures are what make us happy. Not the big houses and the big cars.


    • Maxim Sense says:

      Very well said Colline. Simple pleasures are the genuine ones. The more complex and costly your source of pleasures have become, the harder they are to attain. Thank you (again) for this visit.


  2. terry1954 says:

    happiness to me represents, being happy with who God hath made. noticing the simple things in life, a sunset, sunrise, the flower bursting in bloom, seeing a smile on my brother’s face, knowing he is in extreme pain. having food on my table, answering the phone and it is someone asking how am I, knowing that i have yet another day to breathe and represent what God is all about. Money is needed by me to live and exist, but love that cost nothing, is above all the riches and materials here on earth.
    Good blog Maxim. you are truly an outstanding man that I am so honored to be able to call you my friend


    • Maxim Sense says:

      Thank you Terry. You inspired me (and others too, I’m sure) more than you can imagine. I never had a chance in my entire life (to be honest about it) to have a love for a brother or sister as big, sincere and profound as yours. I envy you my friend. Now, I know that is not too late for me. I will have to do that now. Thank you Terry for making me more human than I would have known myself.


  3. I have had the opportunity as of late to appreciate the smaller and more important things in life and am much happier now. It seems those who have the most are too afraid of losing these trappings of wealth. Living in a wealthy country as the USA obviously I have been sheltered but I am learning to appreciate what is most important–The love of my family and the chance to make my way in this wide world of ours and to reach out to others such as yourself.
    Excellent post. It made me think and smile….thanks for that! 🙂


    • Maxim Sense says:

      You are most welcome Strawberryindigo. Indeed, if we begin to look around us and learn to appreciate the small and important things and re-attached ourselves to the real world, we shall begin to feel what I call genuine happiness. I really appreciated that you had considered me one of those others you have reached out for. I have always imagined that if only we break through the artificial “Berlin Wall” we had built around us, we can see that people on the other side are so willing to reach out to us too.

      I feel so honored for this visit to my humble blog. Thank you.


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