Do worry, be happy
The Indian sage, Baba Meher, is associated with the phrase “Don’t’ worry, be happy.” But the phrase most probably became so popular thanks to the 1988 song by musician Bobby McFerrin, who was inspired by a card carrying Meher’s slogan. The a cappella song was first used in the film Cocktail.
The phrase might seem to be a bit simplistic, but in fairness to Meher it is pertinent to point out that his full statement was a bit different from the abbreviated and sloganized version. "Do your best. Then, don’t worry; be happy in My love. I will help you", was the fuller version.
Baba Meher’s prescription is just one of the recipes for happiness that have been given along the centuries by several philosophies and religions. Happiness is the most elusive but sought after gift that we all strive for. Christ gave us the Beatitudes as the way to happiness. The Buddha preached his own path to happiness. Without it we are very poor. Filled with it we feel we are close to the divine.
A few weeks ago I interviewed for Campus FM a certain Leo Bormans who describes himself as an Ambassador for Happiness. I was very sceptical and I told him so at the very beginning of the interview. Something within me cries against those who seem to give easy solutions to millennial problems or who think that they can save the world as quickly as saying “Hey, Presto” and make a bucket full of money while pretending to do so.
I am sure that Bormans has more than the minimum wage tagged to his pay package, but I am happy to say (pun intended) that he is a different kind of man than these I describe. He is not a soft spoken con artist neither is he an impracticable dreamer. He is as practical as he is a realist. He clearly says that achieving happiness is not like making instant coffee. He insists that we have to look things in their face. Alienation is not, for him, the path to happiness.
“Do worry, be happy” is his mantra. Be a realist but be positive in the same time.
To buttress his case he gave examples of people who passed through great suffering but who finally succeeded to achieve happiness.
I suggest you find time to listen to the interview which will soon be uploaded on the website of Campus FM.
Leo Bormans is also the editor of the book “The World Book of Happiness,” a book which the EU President Rompoy sent to many of the world leaders. The book consists of the contribution of 100 hundred different persons from 50 countries who were invited by Bormans to write a maximum of 1,000 words about happiness. The contribution of some is much shorter. The concoction is exhilarating.
The following selection is evidence enough:
* Give priority to close relationships instead of success
* Smile. Move enough and sleep enough.
* Do good to others, nurture your spiritual self and keep a gratitude journal.
* We are happier when we believe more strongly in our own abilities and efforts than in fate and destiny.
* 50% of our capacity for happiness is determined by our starting set point. We have to accept this. 10% can be attributed to our life circumstances. Don’t focus too much on this. 40% is within our own power to change. Like weight loss, this demands some permanent changes, requiring effort and commitment every day of our lives.
* There are three stages to happiness: having (a basic living standard), loving (family, friends) and being (what goes beyong).
* The more materialist we are, the less we are satisfied with our lives.
Do worry, be happy.