We’ve all heard it before, and probably in some very frustrating moments. Like choosing to be is just a simple choice. As if it’s just one door to open, instead of the other. And although this may be true and ethically responsible in some cases, it’s not the way I choose to look at things personally.
I’ve seen it all too many times, people saying to others “Just be happy.” And they say it as if they just don’t want to be bothered by any one else’s problems. And then there’s the instances where I’ve ran into those people where they just nod their head continually and say “Yeah, exactly, we just gotta choose to be happy. I’m happy.” And then something as simple as an Ipod breaking can destroy them for a few moments until another by-stander appears, taps the screen and gets it working again. Tears to happiness back again. It’s like nothing ever happened. No acceptance, no honesty, just a ticket bought and paid for a long time ago, into the world of material illusion.
Happiness is all too often a material thing for many of us who are caught in the routine of Western Imperialism. Whatever we decide as happiness, it seems to be that when it’s threatened, we battle that threat ignoring deeper issues, or masking it with something with greater material importance. But this is no one’s fault. We are constantly sold an image of happiness. All from fancy cars, houses, to commercialized yoga, Buddhism and Whole Foods. I see the later of these examples as very illusive chains the restrict us all from the human experience. And then there are those examples of some who wear happiness as if it’s a badge of honour. As if they would like to use their happiness to say that they’re better than someone, or to rub it in someone else’s face. But I don’t think that’s it. I think we’re still suffering if we do that.
The only reason why I’m writing about this today, is because a few days ago I found myself in an imbalance. I could say that I found myself as “unhappy” but I don’t spend my days striving to stay in a state of happiness, so it’s not how I view it. This state of imbalance had lasted for a while. It was a “funk” I found myself it. Perhaps it started when I was in Morocco, where I was often faced with scammers and manipulators, and surrounded by arguing religious folks from dusk till dawn. Yes, our surroundings to affect us.
So when I found myself in this funk, I heard a Melody in my head. One that was played by Kenny Garrett. “Sing a Song of a Song” was the melody, and all I heard in that melody was Peace. And there I had it. I lost touch with my focus on peace, and this was my cause for imbalance.
Now stick any dog in any corner and tantalize him, and eventually he will bark (at least). And I kind of feel that’s what happened to me. It’s been a learning experience, and one that is turning into a confession to world. But back to this notion of happiness.
Focusing on values such as Peace, or Honesty and Compassion or very non-material things. And for me, I find that they bring great balance and focus throughout my day. (Which is why I’m invoking this now.) If I’m going to believe in happiness in any way, then I’m going to believe that it rests on things such as this. If I were only to believe in happiness, my own selfish happiness that is, my world would have to be recreated every time something incredibly traumatic happens. Like when my father died. Focusing on non-materialistic, intrinsic values not only connects us to ourselves and others, but also provides the greatest opportunity for turning any (sour) event into a positive learning experience; hence Poison into Medicine.
Walking throughout our daily lives with parallel waves of feel-good music and clichés only enhances our potential for a paper-thin world; one where the thrown stones of life can easily penetrate through. Perhaps this is why I feel almost insulted when I hear “Just be happy” or I see a smiley face. Not because I’m angry at any individual, but rather because I’m seeing people who were already bought, and spreading the message they were sold.
Not all, but some; do not want to face themselves with honesty, and if you take the task upon yourself to do this, and then invoke it towards others, you’ll learn this. Some people will show you that they’ve been on this path for a while, and some will show you that they don’t really want to see that path as an option, or even know it’s there. And that’s okay too, but at least for us, searching for true, honest peace within ourselves provides us with a greater vantage point, along with a platform to reach toward a more ultimate sense of happiness.