Stop Searching

By Lolo Sianipar

Last year I bought some fortune cookies for myself and my friends. As we all know inside a fortune cookie there are always words of wisdom. Then I got one that instantly stroked me in the heart, it’s written in that tiny piece of paper “Stop searching. Happiness will come to you.” Wow, those 2 simple sentences really contradicted my entire concept on The Pursuit of Happiness. It’s true; I feel that I sometimes was trying too hard to create a long sequel of happy events in my life. Am I the only one? So I started catch sight of people around me, and amazed by the findings that some people are really running around to find happiness by their own definition.

I have a female friend that have a special description of what is happiness in her life. For at least these past 4 years, she is trying hard to find the love of her life, the one that is going marry her. From one relationship to another she keep asking herself and other people with questions about it, is he the one? Is he my potential husband? Will he marry me soon? Will I spend the rest of my life with him? Therefore, she makes sure that in every affair of her life all things well-arranged to fit that purpose. Trying to be a perfect women or wife-to-be. In books she read, movies she watched, songs she listen, notes she wrote, all about how to find it, how if she found it, how to deal with it (if that guy happened to be NOT the one), and all happy things about marriage. As I sit and observe her, I realize she don’t discuss other matter or aspect in her life much, not her family, not her career, not her friendship, all simply about Marriage. Her happiness, her sadness all depends on that one matter, her lover and his plan to marry her. Years after years and I’m wondering where this all wind up, the running to catch the happiness. I smile at her.

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of – Albert Camus

There is another friend of mine – a teenager who lived alone abroad. At first I was wondering why she keeps ill all the time. As simple as her FB status always about: I had a headache, my stomach feels not really okay, I think I’m going to catch a cold, my body aching, I’m having a fever, etc. first I pitied her, how this girl lived alone , far away from her parents and being untaken care of. But after some extended time, I’m pretty sure; she just loves the attention people give over her sickness. She loves it. She need it, it makes her happy. When people asking how she is and what’s going on, she’ll be more than happy to explain further. When people stop paying attention (cause people get bored too you know), she’ll start bitching people around with her adolescence anger. She still is doing it right now. That’s a weird way to pursuit your happiness. I smile at her.

The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitudes is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy – Dalai Lama

One last example is this male friend of mine. He spent most his life to get recognition from people. I understand, because it’s not easy to life under the shadow of a great father, especially if the father a doctoral graduated from one of the best universities in the world, a director of one big department, obtained a lot of awards and appreciation from many respectful government bodies including from President. And what he does is trying to be as good as his father was. So all he’s talking about is the great project he’s working on, the socialite he’s hang around with, all the glamorous life to make him deserve to be called a son of a great father. No lover, no saving, no true friend to share his weaknesses. But that’s his happiness. I smile at him.

Happiness belong to the self-sufficient – Aristotle

These special people seems like have a special way to make sure that they are happy. They try harder, work harder for it. No need genius to tell that that certain issue is the centre of their universe. When you have this people around you, don’t you just love to pat their shoulder and say “hey, relax, eventually happiness will come to you”. And this is like a double headed sword, I take a look at myself and wondering, am I in the same rat race? What makes me happy? My faith & hope? My Family? My career? My lover? But as I keep observing people around, I found people, some people that actually live a sufficient happiness in their life. Who laugh as much as mourn and working on their dreams, not dishearten when it failed and see their life in many perspectives of being happy. They are just so balance. I learned from them. I remember a scripture in the Bible; from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” and for me that means whatever I do since God has it well-planned for me, a perfect life, hence happiness will eventually come. And the fortune cookies reminded me of the many kinds of happiness I’m looking for. I have nothing against the Pursuit of Happiness, but sometimes we look for it so hard that we forgot to live. And time won’t go back when we realized we spent too much time on it and missed other important things in our life. And what a sad sad thing if what we’ve been looking for all these time in the end is just a vanity.


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