BAGUIO

Domoguen: Understanding 'process' in the quest for happiness

Mountain Light

IT TAKES a whole life to learn how to live. It takes a life time to learn how to die.

Modern man prides himself with doing a multitude of task in one setting. The truth of the matter is that no activity can be successfully pursued by an individual unless he is focused and deeply absorbed in what he is doing.

Bombarded and crammed with information, a preoccupied human being actually learns little, if not, nothing.

Quality work is not a product of a distracted mind.

There is something wrong in the way the “social-digital world” is affecting this generation and the next. And I am not excluding myself. Preoccupied, we are living simply for the applesauce, not the whole lot. Every day, for much of the time, we flip through our cellphones and laptop computers and see how life is rewarding our digital friends.

We see people engaging in all kinds of events.

We see the smiling faces of family and friends in a social dinner or enjoying sunsets in the beach.

We see people having fun while watching the sunrises in the mountains. We only see the applesauce I mean those things that would generate applause. We keep to this too long we could hardly see the entirety of life.

Soon, afflicted with the “Joneses Syndrome” we wonder why we have less happy rewards all the time ourselves. We start craving for more of instant happiness and gratification that this life has to give.

A few generations past, the wise saw the happy rewards of life as something that comes through a process.

To the wise, real happiness takes time. It is not about getting yourself deep into the ocean floor or the summit of mountains, and then clicking happy faces in your phone for the instant and fleeting rewards it brings, like the thousands and hundreds of likes and shares it generates on social media, for instance.

Winston Churchill is famous for his defiant “sweat, blood, and tears” rhetoric during the Second World War. After the war, far advanced in age and at the height of his career, people still saw him as a strongman. His public image always showed a happy man, his hand waving a black hat above the head in a jubilant salute. His persona and face reflected that of a victorious nation.

Anything worthwhile takes time, it goes through a process of hard work and effort, and sweat and tears as the authors reveal in their biography books on Churchill.

Andrew Roberts in a BBC book entitled “Hitler and Churchill, Secrets of Leadership,” showed that Churchill as a member of the British royalty lived and understood the hard life. He suffered through a series of failures since 1915 when he was forced to resign the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster as a result of the failure of the Gallipoli campaign in the Great War (First World War).

Farming is an old profession. No matter how people in the Philippines are trying to abandon it because of the difficulties and drudgery farmers face until this time, the nation and all other profession will not survive without it.

There is so much that we learn from farming. “You harvest what you sow,” is one of the most important advises in life seeded and harvested every time some folks expound on a topic or lesson.

Take our topic about “process.” It is best illustrated by the sowing of the seed in the soil. It requires time for it to sprout out. You do not see the confluence of several events and factors contributing to the emergence of new life. This may get you thinking about the time, forces and factors still happening in nature that make the plant grow, bear fruit, and ripen, until harvest time.

You do not simply scratch the soil, drop and cover the seed, and tomorrow you harvest whatever there is then!

No, you let the process of farming take its course. If not, you will miss the fun of it all.

By circumventing the whole process of farming, we would have missed learning about the sunlight and photosynthesis, composting and waste recycling, soil, irrigation and the whole lot.

There is great pleasure in the harvest along with the whole process of living it fully, joy and sadness, failure and struggle -- the entirety of it all -- and being fully alive and engaged the entire time things were happening, not just the harvesting.

Now that makes your joy and happiness full, and with deep meaning. You are not only concerned with having instant happiness, applause and reaping what you do not understand.

You do not want to be ignorant and to re-state Aldous Huxley, “I don't want comfort. I want poetry. I want danger. I want freedom. I want sin.”

You want it all. You have to go through the whole process.


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