Monday, July 23, 2007

It is when we have greater chance of being happy, that we are more unhappy

Read "Veronika decides to die", by Paulo Cohelo. Nice book. Didn't have as strong an impact on me as "Eleven minutes" did, but, nevertheless, manages to convey several meaningful thoughts through the story of a girl who attempts suicide and fails, but for whom, the awareness of death, creates an awareness of life and its importance, and who lives as she has lived never before - vibrant, alive, filled with a zest for life itself. The title of this post is one of the statements I read in the book. "The greater the chance or the scope we have for happiness, the more unhappy we are". True, majority of depression cases arise from boredom, people who have too much of leisure, too many luxuries, but lack a vocation, who lack a need or urge to live. It is the complacency which leads to dissent, to a constant irritation.

Everyone needs a cause to live for. And, most of us are raised to believe that altruism is the true way to be, and that it is sinful to be self indulgent and to live for yourself. So, we end up justifying our meaningless existence by saying - 'we lived for our parents, to fulfil their desires', or by saying 'we spent all our lives for our children, to give them all possible pleasures'. While both your elderly parents and your children might be your responsibilities, there is nothing stopping you from living life the way you want to. In spite of being bogged down by responsibilities, do something everyday that is solely for you . It might be a walk, reading a book before sleeping, pampering yourself at the parlour, or even few moments of quiet and solitude that are yours and yours alone. People now refer to this as a "daily dose of vitamin I" [For those of you who have access to yesterday's Times supplement 'Life", do read an article on pg 2, very well written!].

Anyway, returning to the main thread of the post, in the book, the author speaks of the "sane" and the "mad". Who are "mad"? Truly, it is people who dare to be a bit different from the set norms of the society. What is "normal" is something that is just 'acceptable to many'. Other than that, there is no real normality and abnormality.

He also says that the true test of spirituality - btw, spirituality is not philosophical mumbo-jumbo, or an old age pass time, as several of us visualise it. It is just a greater awareness of what we are and what we are doing. So, the true test of spirituality is the patience to wait for what we truly desire and what we deserve and, not to get disappointed by appearances when we actually get it.

The most meaningful and thought provoking statement was, something that I stated in the first paragraph, that it is only the awareness of Death that creates an awareness of this miracle called Life!

A really nice read, do grab that book if you haven't read it so far!


Sid said...

Quite true. Isn't this the very quintessential trait of our nature? Realising the true value and importance of something only when we lose it.

AlterinG Abhishek said...

I really liked your post!

the concept of
"daily dose of vitamin I"

and that all of us really need a reason to live
In fact it has to be more than a few reasons to live
and be happier
thank you!

AlterinG Abhishek said...

Seemz ur having a lot of Vitamin "I"

Bastet said...


Hey, sorry, a dead comp has led to no blogging :) Btw,thanks for the compliments :)

Nissim said...

read the book after reading abt it in ur blog.
maybe i am more cynical than most of the ppl i meet but i find the coelho books a little too dreamy.