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Happiness: Absolute or Relative Quotient?

Oh yes, I'm alive people :) and was once again absconding from this space for weeks :(... Many a reasons for the same but well I will leave that for a separate post.
As of now, I'm in quite a weird mood or shall I say pissed off with some generalist attitudes. The recent one being, hearing of negative sighs with a standard statement - "Arey yaar teri kismat badi achchi hai"!

Don't know if it’s the frequency of this statement in recent times or the negativity which it exudes even from so called close people which irritates me more but whatever it is, these days this sentence really gets on to my nerves! You meet someone, he/she asks you how life is going on, gives some happening updates of his or her life, insists again and again on knowing what’s up with you and then when you reply about the updates or latest developments in your life, you get to hear - "arey wah, great to know about these. Waise kuch bhi bol yaar, teri kismat bahut achchi hai. Tujhe yeh bhi mil jata hai aur woh bhi, teri hi life sahi hai". Well, normally such sentences do not bother me but then there are times when it does. Especially when you know the effort which you had put in or the difficulties you had to face to get those things and all you can see is the gloomy expression or the negative heave of sigh which the person leaves for you!

Well, not everything can be all about kismat or luck in life. And even if it is, then why this sigh for others? I mean you also have a happy life going on then why not be happy for others too? Why it diminishes when you hear about some positive updates in others lives? Will your life be happier if you focus on what you have or will it be happier when you come to know what others don't have? Why the evaluation of your life always has to be in comparison to someone else?

Now coming down to luck, I have no idea if any such thing exists in life. At least those who know me closely esp. since childhood know the kind of struggle which I have gone through in my life. Again I am not saying that I have had one of the most difficult lives ever but yes, I know that nothing has ever come to me easily and simply out of luck. Life has never ever been easy for me; I had my own share of unimaginable losses and unexpected mayhem. Those who know me very personally can actually vouch for that. But then I also know that if I have really-really tried for something in life I have got it; maybe not everything what I wanted and not at the time when I wanted but sooner or later and in some or other form it has come to me. I also know that rarely have I felt negative in life due to happiness or success or growth of others. This does not mean I did not have my own moments of frustration or depression, I'm no saint or some ultra optimistic person but such phases have been mainly due to my own problems and not because of happiness of others. I at times wonder why I do not bother much about others; maybe the struggle of my own life keeps me busy enough to not focus on others. I’m too engrossed solving my own problems and thinking of bettering my own life instead of missing on what others have with them.

A person like me does not always like to share the problems or turbulences of my life very openly. This does not mean I’m one of the super happy persons or everything comes absolutely easily to me. Also when life is so busy for all of us, then when we meet I prefer to discuss the stuffs which can give us lighter moments in our already stressed lives. So, without knowing the complete picture or the immense endeavor which one has put in getting something in life, just do not come to conclusion as to how others’ lives are always so perfect and how yours is so miserable!

Can’t you evaluate your happiness in absolute quotient based on your own life instead of evaluating it as a relative quotient by comparing to others? I know it sounds like some theoretical gyaan or boring updesh but try avoiding this relative measurement or comparative analysis once and see the difference in your satisfaction level… I really mean it! And next time think before heaving that negative sigh for others.


Renu said...

MAny people have such attitude..actually happiness depends on one's attitude to may be half full or empty as you take it.
Luck also favours those who work hard.
Everybody tells me that i am lucky to have such good children, nobody goes into the hard work I did to bring them up.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh! Even if you were lucky, I don't understand people saying that in that negative tone as though wishing you weren't. But you're right...people generally don't know the whole picture and make an assumption based on your current situation...they don't take into consideration all the hard work, the difficulties, the speed humps on the way etc etc. While I do believe fortune plays a role in our lives, if we just sat back and did nothing (i.e. no hard work) I think it would just fade away...

You've got to wonder about FB, and linkedin and suck programs contributing to the happiness factor --- the relative happiness and comparing your life to someone else's on FB and thereby evaluating your own! Oh well...

Interesting post in any case...

Bhargavi said...

I dont know what the "luck " factor really is,but i do know this that feeling bad that someone else is getting ahead in life and you are not is just one big vicious circle that will bring more misery to the person who thinks that way. Take care.

Sneo said...

Oh, i tell you, i have been through the same thing. Seems like half the people u know reply with jealousy when they hear any good stuff happening. They don't even want to ask you how it happened. If good happened to you, it must have been your luck. Add a Facebook flavor also to it :) like the congregation of jealousy creation groups
Disgusts me as well.

Dwiti said...

As much as we try, most of us have a tendency to compare... both levels of happiness and gloom... and hence the relative quotient...

As long as I am convinced that I'm getting what I deserve... I've learnt to not care about what others think of me !!

Jack said...


It has been more of lethargy than any other reason for my not visiting for so long. However I do visit my space daily to check visitors and was thinking of lodging MISSING PERSON complaint. Jokes apart. A very relevant post in these times. If we go for comparison with others to realise our happiness then there is no end to misery. I will share a quote which I read long ago - I always used to complain about my shoes till I saw a person who had no feet. So one needs to be happy with what one has. This does not mean that we stop striving for more. Work hard to achieve what you want but be happy with what you get. Coming to keeping things in heart, I agree that we all fight our own battles but it is also advisable to share what troubles if not with everyone then with those who can offer some way out.

Take care

PS : And as far as comment like what you told, EK KAAN SE SUNO AUR DOOSRE SE NIKALO.

ayman said...

Thank you for sharing

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