“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” wrote Leo Tolstoy in his classic Anna Karenina. This statement carries a great meaning hidden in it. The statement seems to suggest that there is no single manifestation of happiness while there are numerous manifestations of unhappiness. Happy people are just happy while there are always reasons to feel unhappy.
In many ways, happiness can be compared with health. We can perhaps say, “All healthy people are alike. Each unhealthy person is unhealthy in his own way.”
The above statement is true as each illness is unique. A man can become unhealthy in thousands of ways. No doctor can prescribe you any medicine, if you simply tell him that you are unwell or unhealthy. He has to know precisely the nature of illness in order to prescribe you the medicine to cure the disease and make your body healthy again. However all healthy people are alike as they all have their body parameters like blood-pressure, glucose, etc within a particular limits only.
Who is Healthy?
While modern medical sciences have discovered millions of illness and developed hundreds of specialization to cure the ailments of different parts of body and mind, they have no clue what makes a person healthy and what causes a man lose his health. It is not surprising since there is only one method to health while millions of method to lose health. It is like mathematics where there is only one “right” answer but there can be infinite “wrong” answers.
The distinction between healthy and unhealthy man is simple. A healthy man has no disease. He can eat anything and do anything. We all know what it means to be healthy since most of us are born healthy. Most children are healthy. They do what they want and eat what they like. A healthy person does not need any medicine or drugs to live his normal life. He does not wish to be idle as he is full of energy and vitality.
However, an unhealthy person has some ailment in some part of his body. Some part of his body is giving him some trouble and pain. An ailment can be called a disease if it does not go away automatically or that the body itself can not take care of such pain and salve the problem. Hence the man needs to go to a doctor who prescribes him certain medicines which are usually concentrated chemicals not suitable for body and never advised for the healthy person. All medicines are bitter in taste which means they are not welcome by the body as the taste-buds reject the intake of all medicines. Often, the doctors prohibits the patient certain foods and advise him to eat only a limited type of food. Almost invariably, doctor prohibits the foods which are loved by the person and prescribe such foods which are hated by the person. In addition, often the doctor advises the patients to do certain exercises which otherwise the patient hates to do.
Thus an unhealthy person has to eat what he dislikes. He is forced to shun the foods he likes, forced to do actions which he hates and he is forced to eat medicines whose taste he can not withstand.
In real life, every human being falls sick once in a while. However, with some medication or self regulation, he gets cured and then he starts leading healthy life again. However, sometimes doctors find that certain diseases are just not curable as the critical body organ has suffered an irreparable damage. Many diseases like diabetes, high blood pressures etc just can not be cured and one has to learn to live with them for life.
Who is Happy?
A happy man is lot like a healthy man. He is free from any unhappiness. He is free to do anything. Hence he does what he likes. He is not prohibited to do any action. He is not forced to do anything under compulsion. This means that he love doing his job. He does not need to go to any person for taking advice as he is not unhappy and he has no sorrow. He is full of energy and vitality.
A happy person also gets sometime unhappy as he has to interact with many other human beings whose unhappiness infect him just like a healthy man may get infected by harmful bacteria’s or viruses. Yet, he is strong enough to overcome such incidents of pain without any external help. Yet he avoids the company of unhappy people as he knows that they have the capacity to infect him with their sorrow. He, therefore, try to make everyone around him happy so that he has no fear of getting unhappiness from others.
It is difficult to identify a happy person as he never tells others that he is happy just like a healthy person does not tell others that he is healthy. Yet people know that he is happy because he makes people around him happy.
A happy man is rarely angry because anger is a sign of pain of the soul. Anger can be compared with rise in the body temperature which is called fever that increases the metabolism rate of the body to fight the illness. Anger too increases the heartbeat and blood circulation in the body to give extra energy and power to fight the challenge. No one can be happy and angry at the same time just like a healthy man can not have fever or high temperature in his body. Anger takes the happiness away from the person. Just like fever, anger should not last long as it burns the man. An angry man acts like an agent of destruction and become an instrument of devil.
Love and Happiness
Happiness is impossible without love. Love alone brings happiness and lack of love is a sure recipe for sorrow and pain. Yet nature provides love to everyone without his asking. The love of parents’ flows to the child no sooner he is born. As he grows, he gets the love of his friends, siblings, elders, beloved and their children. One is never hungry of love unless he has refused to acknowledge love.
Love is like the food for the soul. It has to be balanced like a perfect diet. Just like a healthy diet should have all ingredients like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins etc, the love received by a person should also be complete.
Love has many forms and names. The love of parents and elders is often called affection. Love from opposite sex may be called lust. The love of a child takes the form of respect. The love to God is called reverence. The love also takes the form of friendship.
We need all types of love just like we need balance diet which is full of all types of nutrients. Love is never of single type just like no food can be made of pure protein, vitamin or carbohydrate. The love of friendship may therefore contain lust or affection or even reverence. Similarly, lust too has friendship and affection. Yet like the natural food, the proportion of nutrients is different in the love received from different people. One has to therefore, receive love from a large number of people so as to fulfill the soul from all types of love just like the body needs healthy foods of different types to ensure that all nutrients are supplied to the body in sufficient quantity.
Action and Happiness
We all know that food fulfills just half the requirement of a healthy body. The other half requirement for a healthy body is the need of action. Scientists often call this action as burning of calorie. For a healthy man, the input of calories in the healthy diet must not be more than the calories burned by him by action. Hence if a person receives love, it is not sufficient for being healthy. He has to also give love to others by performing selfless action which is often called Karma.
Love can be given to others in many ways. If you love your children, you shall give them what they desire without even their asking as you can know what they want from your own intuition. In the same way, you can also prevent them doing things which are not good for them not by force but by love and persuasion. Showing compassion and helping fellow human being is another method of giving love. If you love your beloved, you will do anything to make her or him happy. In the same way, if you love your parents, family, and countrymen you shall do anything to make them happy.
A happy person, therefore, not only receive love but also distribute love as only by doing both, one can become happy.
Happiness is One
It is obvious that all happy people are happy in a like way. They are happy because they love others and also loved by others. Just like health and illness can not exist together, happiness and hatred can not live together. Thus a happy person avoids all forms of hatred which kills love and eventually makes a person unhappy. A happy man has a happy soul. The soul is happy when it is well connected to all the souls of the world as it gets nourishment from all the souls of the world which we often call God. Thus a happy man is faithful and a believer of God and humanity.