I’ve always liked Will Smith, since the Fresh Prince of Bel Air days. I thought that sitcom was hilarious, and have since associated him with either comedy or sitcom shows. Two years ago I watched him starring in ‘In Pursuit of HappYness’ and towards the end, I cried buckets. A month before I watched the movie I read the real story from which the movie is based upon on Reader’s Digest. I then made a mental note not to miss the movie then.
Last night over late night Ugandan coffee at my favorite cafe, the cafe owner was sharing with me her own journey in business, the hardship, the ups and downs, the uncertainty– you know the works… Till she and her husband are where they are now. To anyone who knows them, they must be one of the happiest family around. Close knitted, loving and very humble. And very intact too. One thing that struck me was that she said, ‘ We are very happy because susah senang kita satu family bersama..‘ Through good times and bad times, they make sure they stick through thick and thin together.
However, she also shared that she has customers from all walks of life to her cafe, and this also includes a very rich group of ladies with a certain title to their names. These ladies, according to her, must have had all the money to buy anything they need in this world, what more what they want. But.. as she observed, they do not seem happy. A few of them have even told her outright that they find life to be so meaningless.
A friend of mine recently wrote on her blog that ‘… unfortunately its always MONEY that makes one happy. it would be total denial if someone said money does not make them happy. denial and ignorance’…
so she said. Is it true? That if there are people who said that money does not make them happy, they are in denial and are ignorant?
I know someone who really does not have much money. As the peribahasa says, kais pagi, makan pagi.. kais petang, makan petang. But mind you, she has the biggest heart, the biggest love to share and the happiest smile. And likewise, I also do know of people here and elsewhere who seems to have it all, materially. BUT, as someone trained in the field of psychology, its enough for me to see that they are not quite alright, you get the drift?
The character Will Smith played in In Pursuit of HappYness found happiness in money so that he could give his son a proper home and food to eat. But the rich ladies at the cafe are a bunch of unhappy people despite the thousands stacked up in their bank accounts. And a lady I personally know is just happy having enough for herself.
So what is happiness then ? There is no one size fits all definition of happiness, I’m sure. Another friend just mentioned to me the other day that she is very happy with her life now, but sad that she doesn’t have a marriage partner as yet. There you go, even in happiness, there is always one thing we are not happy about. We are after all humans and more often than not, we are and will never be satisfied with whatever that has been granted to us.
Having said that, I can claim that I am generally happy with my life right now. We are not rich but we are not starving either. We have a good roof over our head and we can still indulge in some things that we like to do. Of course, our life is not perfect, and there will always be things that I am sad about. But I have to constantly remind myself that it is how I look at life is what that determines my happiness. Not what I have.