Friday, August 1, 2008

Keep It Simple And You’ll Be Happy

How many gadgets modern technology has blessed us with! Yet, they only seem to add to the stress and tension of our lives. I have seen young men and women walk down parks and green lanes with earphones completely shutting out the world of beauty around them.

Keep it simple! That is the mantra which can help you reduce stress and tension. Possessions and acquisitions may seem marvellous. But after a while, you do not own them, they own you.

A Tao story tells us of an artist
who was so gifted that his fame spread all over. One day, he painted the picture of a snake. It was so lifelike that viewers seemed to hear it hiss!

The artist was so carried away by his own success and the adulation of his fans that he touched up the snake. He
made its eyes glow; he outlined the fangs so that they seemed to dart at you! He could not stop; he went on and painted feet on the snake!

The expression, “Painting feet on a snake”, a Chinese saying, refers to situations that are needlessly made more complicated by people who do not know when and where to stop.

When our life becomes complicated with power and possessions, we move farther and farther away from the simple joys and pleasures of life. We fail to notice the green grass and the fresh morning flowers.

We don’t have time to hear birds singing or watch our little ones smiling. We drift away from the state of childlike innocence and simple joy, which is our basic nature.

Simplicity is not self-denial. It is a return to those values that matter most in life. It emphasises spontaneity and intuition. It helps us to rediscover the feeling of wonder and joy that we have lost as adults.

There was a wealthy businessman, who was also a sincere, simple soul. He owned an expensive jet in which he flew about from place to place. They asked him if he enjoyed his private plane. His reply was significant. He said it was certainly very convenient; but he had managed to travel without his own plane earlier; in fact, when he was young and poor, the fact that he couldn’t fly did not stop him from being happy.

A famous actress was being interviewed on television. She had made a fortune that year, over a billion dollars. “Does it make you feel good?” she was asked.
“Yes and no,” she replied thoughtfully. “Everyone thinks it’s marvellous. So many people flock around me. But i really do not know who my true friends are and who are with me only for the money and the glamour. As for my daily life, it has not changed much, except that i work harder now.”

A group of young men and women were walking across a shopping mall. They were happy and relaxed; they were talking and laughing merrily. Not a care in the world did they seem to have.

There was a young girl among them, who happened to glance at the window of a jewellery store which they passed. On display was a beautiful, brilliant diamond bracelet. How it sparkled and shone! The girl’s eyes opened wide. She went close to the window to inspect the price. She could not afford it.

She caught up with her friends but she was not the happy, laughing, bubbly girl that she had been five minutes earlier. Her cheerful, buoyant attitude had been replaced by a mood of glum disappointment.

This is the worst part about wanting things. Getting them may give you momentary happiness. But not being able to get them often makes you miserable!!!

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