By Hassan Bendouz
By Hassan Bendouz
Morocco World News
Agadir, Morocco, October 31, 2012
A poet once said: “As a rule, man’s a fool. When it’s hot, he wants it cool. And when it’s cool, he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not.” What a meaningful and insightful observation on human nature. This reflects that there is no absolute happiness and complete satisfaction in being.
Undoubtedly, happiness enfolds a relative meaning in its concept. For this, human beings are never fully satisfied with the things they own. The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people have more than what they themselves have. Part of our nature, as human beings, is that we constantly fluctuate between serenity and sorrow, pleasure and pain, and between optimism and pessimism. Fools are those who think that happiness is only made for the rich. You might see a clear misery in the eyes of those who own lots of money, while the poor’s faces sparkle with priceless treasures of all sorts.
If we cast our memories back to the old days of our ancestors _where there were no trace of modern cities’ chaos and cruel capitalism smelly smokes_ we find that they lived a simple life free from pressure, depression, and insomnia. In those beautiful times, people woke up early in the mornings to plough their lands, water their crops, feed their animals, and wear contagious smiles in their faces to brighten up the lives of their wives and kids. While reflecting on this problematic issue of happiness that haunts almost all people’s minds, I remembered a very inspiring story, heard from a close friend of mine, that I really enjoy sharing with you.
There was once a fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore after having caught a very big fish. As he was unloading his boat, a businessman who was in a short visit to the beach approached him. The latter was so impressed and asked the fisherman “how much time does it take you to catch such a big quantity of fish?” The fisherman answered, “oh, not as long as you imagined.” “Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and fish even more?” The businessman claimed. “This is enough to feed my wife and children,” the fisherman said.
Then, the businessman added “what do you do for the rest of the day, since you finish your work so early? The fisherman replied with a wide smile, “well, Once I make my day from the sea, I immediately come home, play with my kids, give a hand to their mother in the household work, take a nap, and by the evening time I join my friends in the village for a drink_ we play, sing ,play guitar and dance through the night. Then, the businessman gave a prompt suggestion to the fisherman “hey, I am an expert in business management. I can make you a rich man, if you listen and apply what I’m offering you. From now on, all you have to do is to spend more time at sea in hope to get more fish than what your family needs.
Consequently, you would sell it and save enough money that would make you able to buy bigger boats to catch more and more fish. Obviously, in few years time, you will set your own company and own a distribution network. After that, you will have settled in a well furnished house, in a big city. Where your kids can attend the best schools and your wife cherish the beauty and smoothness of modern life. The fisherman continued, “I don’t see what I would gain after all that?”.
The businessman enthusiastically said, “After that, you will be very rich, you will have a king’s life. You can finally retire, you can have a house by the beach, where you will never miss the sunrise magic, you can fish whenever you wish and play with your kids on the shore, you can have nice afternoon naps with your wife, and you can enjoy the warm company of your buddies at the sunset view, by the beach.” In response to that, the fisherman bursted out laughing and simply said, “Isn’t that what I am living now? Why would i postpone the beautiful moments that I have just in my hands to the unseen future? Hey, listen my dear friend, every day I put off my life makes me less capable of living it.”
The profound truth that we can learn beyond this story’s lines is that being happy isn’t a matter of having everything in your life perfect, it’s rather the art of finding and enjoying beauty in the humblest things that surround you. Sometimes, we spend our non-refundable lifetimes chasing illusive dreams, and wasting precious time, we should have spent with our families and beloved ones, for the silly reason to return to our starting points.
What really counts in the journey of happiness is not getting to the top of all pleasures and luxuries, but the upsides and downs of the adventure is what make it worth taking. Generally speaking, the most miserable people I met are those who are obsessed with themselves and possessions, while the happiest ones are those who lose themselves in the joy of serving others.