Someone has said, “Life is a pursuit after happiness.” But the irony is that by pursuing happiness you can never become happy! But there is no need to be sad or disappointed with it. There is an unfailing way to be happy, a miraculous short cut to be happy.
Before we discuss about the unfailing way or the miraculous short cut, let us see three persons who have found the way to lead a very happy and contented life. Former President of India A. J. Abdul Kalam was a very happy man in his life. His countenance, his behavior especially his dealing with all types of people revealed his inner peace and happiness of life.
One day a journalist asked Abdul Kalam: “Dr Kalam, you always look very happy. You face every situation with much enthusiasm and energy. You encounter all sorts of problems with a sense of peace and love. What is the secret of your being happy always?
Dr Kalam’s response left his every listener with wonder and amusement. He said, “In every situation I think of only one thing: What can I give to others? When I meet children my thoughts are about what I can give the children. What a response! What a positive attitude? What an idea?
Mother Teresa too like Dr. Abdul Kalam was a renowned, popular and happy person. Everyone admired and appreciated her love and compassion for the poor and the needy. In her life Mother Teresa has faced innumerable problems and great difficulties. But she faced them boldly and still she remained always a happy and interiorly a peaceful person. Her words and behavior in India and in many foreign countries are proof of her love and interior peace. Everyone is well acquainted with Mother Teresa’s positive attitude and generous nature. Here let me quote just her three well-known saying. Firs, “Give generously till it hurts you – give with a smile with a pleasant face.” Second, “Strong love does not look at the measure but continue ever giving.” Third, “If you want really love, than learn to forgive.”
Mother Teresa’s speech in response to her award of Noble Peace Prize is very memorable. Addressing a distinguished audience at Nobel Peace Award function at Oslo Mother Teresa said on October 10, 1971. “God has created all open to give and received love.” Her entire talk was almost building up our lives. Mother Teresa has not only spoken about love but she also lived her talk. Her behavior was always revealing her love for one and all.
In her speech at Oslo Mother Teresa narrated an incident. One day Mother Teresa and her sisters went out and returned taking with them four dying people from the streets. One of the four was very seriously sick. So Mother Teresa told her sisters. I take care of this serious case and you please look after the other three persons. I will take care of this one as her condition is very serious. I poured on her all the love I was capable of. I put her on a bed. There was a beautiful smile on her face. She took my hand in her hands and just said one work. “Thanks”. And then she died in my hands. “She gave me her grateful love and with a smile on her face she breathed her last breath,” Mother Teresa said. I was impressed by Mother Teresa’s speech at Oslo so much that I translated her whole speech into Gujarati and included it as an appendix to my book on Mother Teresa: A world renowned personality: Mother Teresa.
Here I would like to give an example of a third person who may not be famous like Abdul Kalam and Mother Teresa. Sometime back I read about him in some magazines or newspapers. Not many people knew him till the United States of America honoured him with the Man of Millennium Award. As part of the Award the man was given no less than rupees 30 crores. The entire award money was give away for the needy people! He, the great donor, is Palam Kalyanasundaram.
Kalyanasundaram has worked as a librarian for 30 or so years. He has distributed to the poor people his whole salary. For his own maintenance he worked daily in a hotel after his library duties. I have read recently in WhatsApp message that the rupees Ten lakhs, which he received at retirement too was distributed to the poor and needy people!
Kalyanasundaram found happiness in his whole life not in getting and accumulating money and wealth for himself but in distributing to the poor and needy his whole earning. With his selfless giving he made happy innumerable poor and needy people. He found his own happiness in making others happy.
Abdul Kalam, Mother Teresa and Palam Kalyanasundaram: these three great world renowned personalities are selfless other-centred persons. They found their happiness in selfless giving. Such generous selfless people show us the way, the secret of happiness. They found their happiness in giving generously especially to the needy and the poor people.
Changed On: 16-02-2019
Next Change: 01-03-2019
Copyright Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ – 2019