Essay No. 201:

Happiness: Happiness means contentment and satisfaction. It is from within and not from without. It is related to one’s inner stimuli. A poor person can be happy, though he may lack in basic material conveniences of life. On the other hand, a rich person having an access to all material facilities of living can be the most unhappy and dissatisfied in life.

In other words, the basis of happiness is not the material gain buy internal contentment and satisfaction.  The present times are the times of rising material aspirations, especially in the Third World countries including Pakistan. People wish to satisfy their material aspirations in order to raise their living wish to satisfy their material aspirations in order to raise their living standard.

However, they lack in the resources to satisfy their material desires. They resort to corruption, bribery in order to augment their economic resources. They are placed under a great immoral obligation to achieve their objective by hook or by crook. They lose internal satisfaction and happiness flees away from them. They are caught in a vicious circle: increasing material desires and increasing immoral means to gratify them.

They do not remain contended with what they have. Hence people should reduce their desires to live within their genuine means. Bhudda advocated diminution in human desires to lead a peaceful, contended life. Islam supports this view, as it enjoins upon believers to earn an honest living and avoid profligacy (wasteful expenditure). Happiness springs form honest, righteous mode of living.

Happiness arises when there is no dichotomy between what a man says and what he does or practices in life. If a balance were resorted between reason and emotion, it would go a long way to generate happiness in man. Man should enrich his soul by practicing time tested moral values. That is the way to promote human happiness.

Above all man garners happiness when he gives something to others instead of taking something for his personal gain. It is akin to the philosophy that life is to give and not to take. So when man consciously tries to help the poor, the resource less, in different ways, he charges his heart with the battery of happiness. In other words, happiness depends upon what one gives of happiness.

In other words, happiness depends upon what one gives and not what one gets. Serve humanity with devotion and commitment and you experience the sense of satisfaction and contentment. Hence if you are the seeker of happiness, make others happy. Man should not desire the unhappiness of others, by avoiding personal prejudices.

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Betrand Russel, a mathematician, a logician and a great litteratuer, is of the view that work, howsoever, small or uninteresting yields happiness to man. To do a work is to seek satisfaction of one’s inner self. Work of any kind brings happiness to man. A labourer after doing odd manual work feels satisfied when he gets wages for that.

We are not concerned with illegal activities like smuggling, hoarding, which could yield fabulous wealth to the people, but not the inner satisfaction. The money earned through legitimate ways by doing work can be a source of immense satisfaction to the people.  Top of all, joy lies in construction and not destruction.

It is difficult to construct a building but easy to raze it to the ground. Work related to construction gives satisfaction to man. So man should concentrate on doing constructive work to seek satisfaction and happiness. It is one way of getting happiness.

Excessive pre-occupation with materialism does not promote real happiness. Developed countries pursuing the attainment of high growth rate do experience a marked improvement in their material living condition, but there is no guarantee to get satisfaction and happiness leading to bliss and contentment.

Man cannot close his eyes to the stark realities of life. He must chase economic growth, but at the same time not forgot about to energies his inner self through the remembrance of Allah. Worldly things cannot provide bliss and contentment to man.