Another Smiley :]

Yes, I am posting another post on smiley faces. Isn’t this picture simply adorable? I like this because it highlights a paradox. Yes, I’m complicating things even more. Here’s my message: BE HAPPY

Happiness isn’t a state of false brightness. Happiness isn’t equal to excitement or contentment. Happiness isn’t just about smiling. Happiness is a feeling that is indescribable. So when I say be happy, be what you feel is truly and deeply happy. Remember, you can be happy and sad at the same time. Isn’t life full of paradoxes and oxymorons? That’s what makes humans special, no?

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Laughing/Smiling/Crying

Today, my friend asked me if I’d rather cry inside a limo or smile on the back of the bicycle. I secretly think she was betting that I wouldn’t understand this statement since she said it in chinese and she knows-as everyone does – how I’m hopeless in that language. I understood (haha got ya!). Ok fine, I admit that I wouldn’t have understood it if my mom hadn’t asked me the very same question years back. Of course, she was kind enough to explain this statement in great detail – you know how moms are.

Literal meanings aside, what this statement means is that would you rather be happy and poor or sad and rich? Basically, this is the classic example of “money can’t buy you happiness”. If you answer that you’d rather smile on the back of the bicycle, it means that you’d rather be happy. People who choose the other option value money above everything.

My friend proceeded to ask my other friend (who is not asian) the same question. My other friend looked bewildered and responded: “Why can’t I smile on a limo?” We laughed because she didn’t get it.

For me, if I say that happiness takes precedence over everything else, I’d be lying. But smiling doesn’t necessarily have to mirror happiness. I smile because I know I will be happy. My dad always tells me if I surrender to the lure of what he calls “happiness” now, I’ll regret it in the long run. I think he alludes the state of happiness to the state of contentment. And I agree. Strangely enough, that is the general accepted meaning of happy. Of course, nobody says it out loud. There are just some things in the world that are true but to maintain a positive moral outlook, hardly anyone admits it.

So later on, I ask my mom the same question. She laughs because she remembers that she asked me the same thing years back. I pressed her for an answer. Then, a serious look crosses her face. She said:

When I was your age, my answer would be that I would smile no matter the mode of transportation I took. But now that I think about, what use is smiling if you’re not happy in the end. I chose to smile on the back of the bicycle and now, I can’t seem to smile. That’s why, if I reevaluate if I predicted that one day I would have you – I would have chosen the limo.

It’s touching that she loves me so much that her first priority would be my happiness and future. But then she told me that I have to smile no matter what. So I will choose the bicycle like she did but she trusts me to make smart decisions and end up happy in the end. I hope I won’t disappoint.

Nostalgia

The distant nostalgic scenery,

Sweet fragrance of snow

Bound my broken memories

So I can search for the road I must take…

Far away, there’s a light I can’t quite see.

Fear…Will I lose myself if I wish hard enough to see it?

Because a heart that shatters in deepest darkness,

Is the heart that lies right here…

In this life, certainty isn’t always in front of our eyes.

Tears spill and try to live as long as they can,

Before slipping way to reunite with Earth,

Leading to the future they found…

Gazing to the sky, I walk the road.

Words we once vowed vividly resurrect.

They touched upon the forgotten memories,

That are the only proof of the thorny path we took…

In order to protect this pitiful prayer,

I was led towards that thorny path,

But a heart that shatters in deepest sorrows,

Is the heart that lies right here…

Picking up shattered fragments,

I accepted everything this life had given me,

If life grants me my only and final wish,

I will send you a single ray of light…

Tears that know of love and light,

Many of them thrived in this limited life,

Towards the heavens, the wings of flowers fly,

Continuing the road of a flourished future in the sky…

There’s nothing to cry about,

Nothing to be confused about,

I follow the wings of flowers,

And Earth disappears from sight…

(end)

Can you guess what this poem is about?

Also, this poem wasn’t completely original. One thing I like to do is adapting lyrics from another language into English and arranging and adding verses to make it sound better and more poetic. This particular poem is adapted from Hitomi no Kotae by Noria.

In response to: In Praise of Sadness

Actually, this is the first time I’ve picked up a copy of Reader’s Digest. I probably should have enjoyed it more than I did. However, that’s not to say I didn’t like it. It just happens that my favourite article is also the article which I think is most misleading. Yes, life is full of little ironies, no?

Anyways, for my own sake, I won’t go into a detailed summary of the article. Just know that the author argues that people should embrace sadness and experience it to the fullest. The first time skimming through the book, I found myself nodding in agreement with the writer. Then, I read it again and found that some points put forward quite unsettling. Yes, we grow by experiencing despair but I don’t think that character grows by experiencing sadness to the fullest. I think we as people grow by learning to cope with change; we grow by learning to deal with the mental stress in a healthy way.

A good quote I found is: “Thinking positively is better than thinking negatively but thinking realistically has even more commend to it. And thinking realistically acknowledges that the richness in life lies in the interplay of light and shade.” However, I think the writer fails to acknowledge that thinking positively isn’t synonymous to imposing a false cheery state. Thinking positively is thinking realistically because being positive means that I will live life to its full potential despite the downsides.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that life is full of contradictions and whatnot. It is constructed entirely out of opposites. We feel because we can, because there are contrasts; therefore, we have points of comparison. Bottom line: sadness exists because happiness exists. We feel happy because we know that we feel better than when we are sad. We shouldn’t concentrate on being happy but we shouldn’t focus on the contrary either. In fact, I don’t think there is need to focus on happiness or sadness. These feelings will come naturally evoked by the little bumps in life that come along. What we should focus on is smoothing out these little bumps. By that, I’m referring to a state of control, not happiness.

Yes, we often regard control as happiness and there is nothing wrong with that because if we don’t have control on our lives, we don’t have control in anything. Happiness isn’t all bland and bleak. Happiness is a beautiful word and it refers to richness and wholeness. So be happy! Smile and make the best out of the materials you are given! Of course, being happy naturally means that you’ve had more than your fair share of downsides in life.