The pursuit of life… Introspection needed

Background : The other day I was going through my Quora feed and happened to see a question regarding job satisfaction. The answers that people gave to that question literally made me pity them. All the answers had something of this tenor – “We should not be satisfied. We should fight, face the world, etc….”

 

And then… It’s these same youths that crib about every thing in this world, about how life sucks, about how tensions led them to resort to drugs, etc. Do they even realize what their words actually mean? Don’t we see that they are brain-washed? But then, aren’t we all?

 

Let’s just go back a few thousand years. There was a guy who created a revolution with his thoughts and simple approach to life.

His name was Prince Siddharth.

Kept hidden from the misery of the world, he lived the life of a prince. But it was only when he saw the sorrow and pain that exists in this world that he decided to leave behind everything, in the pursuit of happiness.

And happiness he found. Not by struggling in this world. Instead, he found happiness in solitude. 

The essence of his enlightenment and subsequent satisfaction was not solitude. It was renunciation. He chose to leave the infinite circles we put ourselves into in order to have a good life. What his enlightenment was that we do not need to put ourselves into all these struggles of life. Instead, living a life of constancy, away from all this, is the key to happiness.

Why do we feel as if our life lacks something? Why do our parents, grandparents, etc claim they had better lives?

The answer is pretty simple. They never put themselves into so many struggles and battles as this generation does. They had limited means, true. They had limited dreams, true. They had limited convenience, true. They had limited opportunities, true.

We have better means, better opportunities, better conveniences, better technology, better knowledge. Agreed.

However, are we as happy as they were? No!

Are we as satisfied with life as they were? No!

We have a higher life expectancy than they did…but they had a longer life than us. They lived life, with simplicity, satisfaction and happiness. 

We live lives with complexity, modern comforts, but with more heart diseases, more dissatisfaction, less happiness. 

 

And the reason for the unhappiness in our lives is only our ambitions and aims. Aim more, struggle more, achieve a momentary happiness of accomplishment, and then fall into a period of struggle. Keep doing this again and again. That’s the life of our modern youth.

We chose our colleges, not our teachers. The way forward is through contacts, not pure skill. And then, placements… We take the job where we get the best package. A few months gone, and we would be criticizing it for paying us less. We want promotions, etc. Then, compete for the best spouse. 

All throughout, we fail to realize that this takes away around half of our lives. And around 70% of our most productive years of life.

 

Struggling to create a beautiful life, we forget to live the way we should be living. We fulfil deadlines but we fail to see the timeline of our own life. By the time we have created a “good life” for ourselves, we realize that there isn’t much time to live that good life.

Of what use is this? Of what use are all our ambitions? Why do we need to even do all this?

 

Whenever anyone is asked, why do you do this job or why do you study this? They may enlist all the future aims they have in life. What’s the final aim? To have a happy life.

Yeah sure!

Struggle to achieve all this and have a happy life once you reach the age of being unable to live without daily medicines! The age where you have lost all your youthful energy, all your youthful spirit.

We just don’t need to torment ourselves this way, in such a life. All we need to do is to get out of this vicious circle and never re-enter it. That’s the way to satisfaction. To happiness.

 

After all, happiness is a result of satisfaction. Satisfaction is what is lacking in this modern world of ours.Satisfaction is what we need.

And all those who scoff at having a simple, peaceful and satisfied life, I sympathize with them. They will be the ones to perhaps learn this lesson at the end. But they will accept this lesson too. Everyone does. 

It’s just that Siddharth realized it early on in his life. And spread it far and wide.

Most of the times, people realize this lesson’s truth as they near the end of their lives, regretting their youthful decisions.

 

Everyone becomes the Buddha eventually, but some do so while living. And it is these people who will be happier than everybody else. 

 

Aakash Kapoor

 

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