All persons want to be happy and all have their own conception of a happy life. Some think that they can be happy if they are able to get a lot of money. Others think that they will be happy if they have power over others and if they are considered as ‘great men’ by others. Still others’ happiness lies in the company of true and good friends.
According to Henry Wotton, happy life is free from flattery and worldliness. Happy is the man who does not fear death, who is not impulsive and who spends time reading scriptures or in silent meditation. Such a person never hopes to rise in life nor does he fear to have a fall. According to Alexander Pope, real happiness can only be derived from solitude and a person who lives in solitude is a happy person. A person who has a few acres of land and whose needs and desires are met locally and who does not have the wander-thirst is a happy man. A happy man enjoys good health, peace of mind and enjoys the ecstasy of study and meditation in turns and takes delight in innocent pleasure.
However, it is not possible for all of us to follow the above ideas of happiness. Some people can never think of leading the solitary life of a saint and hence they can never sever their ties with other human beings with whom they must associate, interact and have cordial relations. People, to be happy today, would like to have economic security — a well-paid job or some prosperous business. They do not believe in the philosophy of the blessings of poverty. A poor man’s life is so miserable that it is not worth their envy. Some people do not wish to hoard money or possess a lot of black money but they believe that happiness lies in decent living. They do not want to be afflicted with penury, misery and wretchedness.
There is no doubt that the life of an idler cannot be a happy life. One must work hard to earn a decent living but one must have some leisure to stand and stare. Good health also provides happiness and an unhealthy person cannot experience happiness. Good society and sincere friends with whom one can share one’s joys and sorrows are also essential for happiness. It has been rightly said, “sorrow shared is sorrow halved.” One should be open and above board in one’s dealings with others since frankness and open-heartedness are necessary conditions for a happy life. Having sympathy for the weaker sections of society and less privileged, promoting the happiness of others, keeping away from selfishness and hard-heartedness also bring peace and happiness.