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Happiness & Worry

Objectifying happiness is a fallacy because happiness varies from person to person

Post by MUFTI JAMEEL FAROOQ on Sunday, February 26, 2023

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The theme of my article is to write about happiness; however, we all know what happiness means: feeling satisfied, achieving targets, getting the desired results, and reaching the position or goal that has been set. Every person in the universe will definitely second me when I say happiness is relatable, and indeed it is, though subjective. I believe that objectifying happiness is a fallacy because happiness varies from person to person; for some, it may be spending time with family; for others, it may be wandering and loitering around, earning good money, getting married, finishing classes with good grades, or reaching the highest position.


Is it the right definition of happiness? Since, I've turned off on many occasions when I had planned to go on a trip but the weather changed its mind, causing me to be disappointed. I have also felt bad because my family wanted me to do something, which I did for their happiness, but internally, that made me feel bad. I have also done things because of societal pressure or peer pressure and achieved the target that I had set, but honestly, that didn’t make me feel good or happy. On July 24, 2018, I purchased my first car and was obviously elated and full of jubilation, but that too did not last long. I also felt happy during my post-graduation when I was simultaneously working with Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar and Radio Kashmir as an anchor and participant on receiving money to my bank account via SMS on my beautiful golden Android phone. However, neither the money nor the happiness lasted long. After a few weeks, my position and state would remain the same: I was looking for money and looking for happiness, which meant I was dialing the wrong number, which welcomed the wrong things but not the thing I was looking for—happiness.


They say that religion brings solace and peace and tranquillizes the soul; however, I can never doubt it. Dale Carnegie, in his book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living," writes (pages 328–331) while quoting "Lived in the Garden of Allah" by R.V.C. Bodley, who had lived for seven years in the Sahara Desert and had found people of Arab or Muslim descent more happy than other people in the world. He postulates that the people or followers of "Mohammadian" are happy because they are fatalists and have faith in "Mektoub" (written). He writes, "I have never seen on their faces an iota of worry, although on many occasions I thought this was the cause of worry, but they would never worry and would always say, "Mektoub, Mektoub." He even goes on to criticize Europe and America, who worry about every little thing, and writes, "The seven years I spent with the Arabs convinced me that the neurotics, the insane, and the drunks of America and Europe are the products of the hurried and harnessed lives we live in so-called civilization."





He continues, saying that the seven years he spent in the Arab world at Sahara were the most peaceful and tranquil of his life."As long as I lived in the Sahara, I had no worries." "I found there, in the Garden of Allah, the serene contentment and physical well-being that so many of us are seeking with tenseness and despair." While pondering and contemplating the preceding paragraph, one can easily conclude that the trinket of happiness can be found only by being a complete fatalist. But are those who believe their fates have already been written content? Do they never worry? No, that's a completely wrong notion. I have seen people who are bottled up in their religion, full of anxiety and depression, and who get worried about trivial and trifling issues, which for others may not be any cause for concern or arduousness. Now comes, the question of how we will achieve happiness. What is real happiness? From where would it come?


The answer is very simple. A student once came to me in 2016 who had failed to pass one of his subjects in a semester examination was mocked, jeered, criticized, and taunted by his fellow students at college for not qualifying the said examination. "Sir, I felt bad because the fellow students used maliciously malice against me and called me a loser,” I realized what the student expected from me—he expected words of consideration, sympathy, and kindness, but he didn't realize it at the time. Jameel sir doesn’t like delicate and fragile creatures and is a fan of the wounded lion, who, instead of waiting for words of consideration, believes in self-assessment, SWOT analysis, and the fighting back spirit. I asked him, rather than replying to the worry, "Were they wrong when they said, "You are a failure?" And a loser? They are attempting to show you the ideal mirror that most closely resembles you. So, buckle up and fight back; analyze your weak zones; work on them like a hawk; and remember, you belong to a different race that needs no words of kindness and sympathy, for words of compassion and consideration are for the friable creatures, not for the conquerors but for the conquered. And the rest is up to you. I love Charlize Theron when she says, "I don’t try to be overly sympathetic." I don’t really like sympathy; I don’t like it for myself. "Sometimes sympathy makes you feel like you're trying to victimize someone."


I would like to conclude with "The Worrying Wreck from Virginia Tech" by Jim Birdsall.


"The fifteen minutes that I spent with Professor Baird did more for my health and happiness than all the rest of the four years I had spent in college." "Jim," he said, "you ought to sit down and face the facts." If you devoted half as much time and energy to solving your problems as you do to worrying about them, you wouldn’t have any worries. "Worrying is just a vicious habit you have learned."

"He gave me three rules to break the worrying habit:

Rule 1: Find out precisely what the problem is that you are worried about.



 (The author is a regular columnist to RK. Email: mufti.jameel97@gmail.com)

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