Kaieteur News – The happiest persons I know are never the wealthiest. My happiest friends are simply the ones who are more contented with what they have.
I tried explaining this to a friend who saw me recently and began complaining how I have a lovely home, a nice car, and a fat bankbook while he is still struggling to make ends meet.
I tried to explain to him that there were many things about his life that he ought to be proud of; that even the poorest man has enough to be happy if he would instead of looking at what other people have, try to value what he owns.
I came over as a lecturer and could not connect with my friend who I have known for many years. As I left him, I kept wondering how better I could have made my point to him that he has everything that should make him happy except that he is looking in the wrong places.
When I went home, I went straight to my email, and as usual there was a fair amount of emails including quite a lot of the regular make-you-feel-good stuff which I often quickly highlight and trash.
However, since I was troubled by my inability to get through to my friend, I decided to read some of these emails which are circulated widely over the internet.
We hardly know the original author of these emails. A friend sends it to a friend who sends it to another friend and the chain continues until it reaches you.
The email in question came to me from our publisher. It was entitled Hot Chocolate. It says exactly what I wanted to say to my friend but could not say in the way I wanted.
I will repeat the message here in its entirety and ask the original author to forgive me for not knowing his or her identity. I dedicate it to my friend who felt unhappy about not having the material pleasures of life.
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, decided to go and visit their old university professor, now retired. During the visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives.
The professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large mug of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups – porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some exquisite – telling his guests to help themselves to the hot chocolate. When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said:
Notice that all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
That cup that you are drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.
What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups. And then you began eyeing each other’s cups. Now consider this:
Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and your position in society are the cups. The cups are just tools to hold and contain life.
The cup you have does not define nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us.
God makes the hot chocolate; man chooses the cup.
The happiest people do not have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have.
Live simply, Love generously. Care deeply! Speak kindly!
And enjoy your hot chocolate.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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