Happiness, Peace, and Joy
by Shahinur Islam
Happiness lies in comparison—comparison with different stages of one’s own experience, comparison with life of other people. The former state stems from the gradual development, but the latter from selfishness and snobbishness. And this keeps growing and growing by making one more snobbish while the former just retains its stability. Consequently, happiness is just the euphemistic name of selfishness.
Personally, I grudge against happiness. Not that I do not crave for keeping well, but I do not think that being happy means being well.
Living in happiness is personal, self-centred, envious, and dependent on selfishness. We usually live in happiness only when we see someone else is inferior in health and wealth, money and power, designation and title, beauty and accomplishments, or appearance and complexion to us.
Seeing someone being legless and comparing it with one’s own sorrowful state of ‘no money to buy a pair of shoes ‘and, thereby, forgetting one’s own sorrow is another name of happiness. But I do not hanker after this happiness. I want the legless person, too, keep well despite his sorrowful state. And by not comparing his/her state with mine to be self-content, I should rather work on how I can buy him/her a pair of shoes or how I can help him/her. In this case, I prefer being in joy or peace as it differs from happiness.
One alone usually cannot live in joy. It takes at least one other person, and that is why, it involves a sense of wholeness. And living in peace is meek as well as flawless. Though it also implicates a sense of individuality, it is unknowing and preoccupied with a sense of pervading wholeness. It fosters no selfishness or enviousness; rather, it has an inherent acknowledgement of keeping oneself and others well.
In happiness and peace, there lies stability, but in joy, there is dynamism. That is why, those who live in happiness, their selfish and self-centric state is static, too. This condition begets pride, ego, and snobbishness. And those who live in peace have the ever-static tolerance, ability of understanding others, and a sense of decorum of not annoying others unnecessarily. On the contrary, those who live in joy, have ever-dynamic, ever-flowing feelings that always welcome wholeness. Nevertheless, living in joy is a transient thing while living in peace is a lasting thing. As a result, peace is better than happiness, and sometimes joy in peace is much better than that.