Once there was a small village. All the peoples in the village were happy and content. Every day, a young shepherd from the village used to take his flock of sheep to graze in the nearby forest. One afternoon he was resting under a tree in the forest. Suddenly something shiny in the bush caught his eye. When he went close, he saw a brass lamp. He picked it up and rubbed it absent mindlessly.
Suddenly, he heard a tiny voice saying, ‘I’m a wish lamp. I will fulfill one wish. You can ask for anything you want.’
The shepherd was so astonished that he couldn’t think of anything to ask for. So he decided to think for a day before making the wish.
Another boy from the village saw the whole incident from a distance. He told the villagers about the wish lamp. When the village head heard all this, he decided that every villager should get a chance to make a wish.
So in the next few days, the wish lamp went from one villager to another. One person asked for a room full of gold, another one asked for a house full of diamonds, another one for an ivory castle and so on.
But the funny thing is no one asked for flowers or trees or a garden or a play ground. So, all the children in the village became gloomy. The grown-ups weren’t happy either! The one with the gold was unhappy because he didn’t have a castle, the one with the castle was unhappy because he didn’t have any gold! So they all became jealous of each other and even stopped talking to each other!
At last, the children of the village went to the shepherd to complain. They said they wanted everything to be like it used to be. The shepherd said, ‘I haven’t made my wish yet. I wish that our village turns back to the way it was.’ His wish was granted. The village was once again filled with joy and merriment. Those few days became a half remembered nightmare.
This is the secret of happiness. You need to be satisfied with what you have. Think of those people who are worse off than you are. You won’t feel depressed or low anymore! And why should you waste time being upset or angry anyway? Think of all those times you couldn’t concentrate in your studies because you were upset about something. As a result you did badly in the exams. What good did that do you? None. Your bad mood passed after a while. But by that time it was too late to do anything about the exam you did poorly in or the opportunity you missed.
To be in good spirits always, keep these few things in mind:
- Don’t expect anything from others. Do not think about what you can get, think of what you can give! That way, you’ll never get hurt.
- Love people! Instead of looking for their faults, look for their good qualities. Make it a habit to praise others. Congratulate people on their success. Pray for them during meditation. Your will feel much happier.
- Be busy! If you have any free time do charitable work. Do not waste time feeling sad or depressed.
One day, Mulla Nasrudin began talking to a man from another town. The man lamented, ‘I am rich, but I am also sad and miserable. I have taken my money and gone traveling in search of joy-but alas; I have yet to find it.’
As the man continued speaking, Nasrudin grabbed the man’s bag and ran off with it. The man chased him, and Nasrudin soon ran out of the man’s sight. He hides behind a tree, and put the bag in the open road for the man to see.
When the man caught up, he located the bag, and his facial expression immediately turned from distress to joy. As the man danced in celebration of finding his bag, Nasrudin thought to himself, ‘That’s one way to bring joy to a sad man.’
Most people only appreciate what they have when it is taken away for them. But smart people appreciate it while they still have it!
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