Henry David Thoreau said: “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
Here are two stories on happiness.
Once, a shah was riding in his palanquin through the town, looking through the window at the scurrying people. Suddenly, he saw a lonely dervish sitting in the middle of the crowd, who was smiling and looking happy about something. The dervish was dressed poorly, and except the saucer for hand-outs and a road script he had nothing else besides him. The shah road past him and soon forgot what he saw.
After a few days, the shah had to go the same way again, where he saw the same dervish again, completely happy, dozing with blissfully closed eyes.
The next day, shah chose the same way on purpose, to see if the dervish will be in his place and again the image was the same. Intrigued, shah was going the same way almost every day and every time he found the dervish in the same spirit.
Finally, unable to stand it anymore, shah came out from the palanquin and addressed the imperturbable dervish with these words, “Why are you always smiling? Almost every day I see you here and it seems that you are absolutely happy.”
“Exactly, my master.” – said the dervish with a smile.
Shah was surprised and asked: “Why are you happy? Do you have any money?”
“I don’t have anything, my master. Maybe during the day a little bit will fall in for food.”
“Do you have a home or a family?”
“Neither this and nor that. I wander the world as the wind.”
“Maybe then, you have good heath?”
“Absolutely not, my master, from the cold of the night my bones ace often and almost all of my teeth have fallen out.”
“What makes you so happy then? Tell me. Maybe your recipe for happiness will be useful to me. I have everything, but I’m unhappy.”
“God never sends more challenges for one person that he can’t handle. And burdens a person only with those circumstances, which at that moment, are most useful for his development. The circumstances in which the person is – is the place for spiritualization. I accept that the best thing for me now is what I am, where I am and what is happening with me. I accept it with gratitude and a smile, if necessary with resistance and patience, and if possible, I try to understand what God is trying to say to me with it and in which direction should I move with my development. The realization of it doesn’t make me absolutely happy, but I have a clear horizon opening in front of me, free from the rainy curtains and filled with the sunny light of awareness.”