Drop Bear Hostel. Santa Marta, Colombia! Day 15.
I was squatting on a bean bag, doing nothing of importance but sweating down my butt crack. A taxi pulled up to the main entrance of the hostel. I could spot it through the window. A tall Asian-looking guy with his visor turned south left the taxi and went straight for the entrance.
I continued sweating and self-loathing for a few more minutes; the usual.
The Asian-guy sat on the porch, rolling a cigarette. I bought myself a beer.
“Mind if I join you for a smoke?” I said. “Not at all,” he grinned.
His name is Jerry, he said.
Like Tom & Jerry, he said.
He moved to Canada from China at the age of ten. They asked him to come up with a name that Westerners can pronounce. He picked Jerry. Like Tom & Jerry.
I have been traveling with Jerry since that first day we met.
That guy is smart. Not banker-smart, but life-smart.
I asked him to write an article.
He does not write.
He composes piano music.
He draws. He sleeps.
I got him to share the Secret to Eternal Happiness and write it down.
Enter: Jerry Liu
The Secret to Eternal Happiness
It is a hot and humid afternoon, the sun is shining down on the shores of Colombia, and I’m taking a nap under a mango tree. My mind starts to wonder about how everyone seems to be looking for happiness these days.
I get it.
Happiness is a very desirable state and it is natural for us to seek it. If you look around, many businesses offer just that: happiness. A cool new gadget here, or some special service there. If we buy what they offer, we’ll be happy.
But of course, that will not last too long.
Businesses are only trying to make some money and keep the economic machine running and growing. Infinite growth with finite resources. That is the idea behind economics. Sounds more like insanity to me, doesn’t it?
So how do we find the secret to eternal happiness in this insane world?
Well, happiness is an emotional state, one of many, along with sadness, anger, love, hate, you name it. Now, the funny thing about emotions is that they are temporary, like waves in the ocean.
They can start for a number of different reasons, take their course, and return back into the ocean. Of course, they can be interrupted unexpectedly… life does that sometimes.
The media often shows a well adjusted/successful person as being happy all the time. They have to. They make money of it. But of course, this is impossible.
And that, is the secret of eternal happiness:
It doesn’t exist.
Being happy all the time, without the contrast of sadness and other emotions, means the eternal happy state will become the new normal. A wave always returns back into ocean.
But do not be worried, good days will follow bad ones just as surely as the sun will shine after the rain.
Outro by Marvin
I’d say, that is pretty damn right.
Who said that happiness is a desirable state in the first place?
Walt Disney, Coca & Cola, Hollywood, Gucci…
Instead of striving for constant happiness, I suggest strive for being whole.
Allow all your emotions. Embrace sadness. Express anger. Be bored.
Before I go full preacher-mode here, I stop. My last words: