Why do we do anything? This question has been asked since time immemorial. By philosophers, by sages, by psychologist and even my management gurus. While on surface people say different things such as they need a lot of money, more love, a bigger house, a faster car or better health but if we keep digging deeper and deeper as to why they want what they want, the answer always is “to be happy”
I often compare happiness to salt in food.
A little bit of salt can make the food tasty but we can’t fill our stomach with salt. Happiness is the same. We can’t fill our life with happiness
Lack of salt not only makes our food bland but can also cause life threatening symptoms such as Addison's disease. In fact in Roman times wages were paid in form of salt. Salt was so important that the word salary comes from the Latin word salarium meaning salt. Just like salt, happiness is so critical to humans that lack of it pushes us into depression and even to suicide! Incidentally humans are the only species that commits suicide. Animals don’t commit suicide. Have you ever seen an animal willingly kill itself?
Ironically though chasing happiness can itself be a source of unhappiness! A famous 2006 Hollywood movie perhaps got the crux of it
“It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it.”
So if happiness is the salt of life then what keeps the life going when there is no salt? What is it that prevents humans from committing suicide when there is a lack of happiness? It is actually something more important that even happiness – Resilience. Even in the toughest conditions some survive while some don’t. From Holocaust to North Korean prisons those who have been deprived of happiness have often battled the struggle of life with just one weapon – Resilience. If happiness is the salt of life then resilience is the dessert of life. Salt has no calories; important as it may be one can survive without salt. One cannot survive without calories. We need energy. A sweet dessert can give us that energy. We can survive on just desserts for extended period of time even when other forms of food are deprived. Resilience is that energy giving sweet dessert!
#Gyanalogy #Happiness #Pursuit #Happyness #Salt #Sweet #Desserts #Resilience