By Anam Shaikh
I was reminiscing about my childhood, something which I’ve been doing more and more frequently these days, thinking about the time a classmate had called me over for her birthday party. I was about 6 or 7 or so, and I remember my heart beating wildly in anticipation of the party, even before I started getting ready and turning up at her house.
This made me reflect, when was the last time I felt this excited about something, the last time I felt this happy? Turns out, the times are very few in comparison to my childhood. We do not know how to experience true happiness. In an age where we have everything and all the comforts we could ask for, we are supposed to be even happier than before. But all that has happened is that technology has suckered out all the happiness from us. We are in the midst of a technological turmoil, and it has left us void of any emotion. What once used to be happiness is now mere photos and hashtags. Emotions have become emoticons.
When was the last time waking up to a new day made your thud giddily with anticipation, instead of grumbling and needing #MondayMotivations and #MidweekMotivations? When was the last time you watched a movie, or went for a picnic with your family and close ones, instead of the customary greeting you feel obliged to give? When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart conversation with your friend, instead of taking 100 selfies and posting them on social media?
When was the last time you and your coworkers had fin at work, instead of random spats and arguments? When was the last time you made someone else’s day and have the indescribable joy of charity enter your heart, instead of turning a blind eye to the world? When was the last time you doubled up with laughter over something funny, instead of grunting at jokes on the Internet? When was the last time you enjoyed a chocolate, allowing it to melt in your mouth and have you savor its taste, instead of taking heavily filtered photos of it and uploading it with innumerable hashtags?
When was the last time you actually thought about the ‘Happiness is…’ posts popping up on your wall, before sharing it with your friends? I’m not saying all this is wrong, but let’s look beyond it; think about the good ol’ days when we actually knew how to have fun, not Facebook fun or Twitter fun, but pure, unadulterated, real-life fun.
Happiness has become something we only know, not feel. There is no color in our lives; we have become mere machines, doing mundane tasks according to routine. We no longer know the thrill of bungee-jumping, the warmth of meeting people, the taste of home-cooked goodies, the love and smiling faces of small children, since they are all variations of happiness.
It’s time to break away, do what you love, search for your Zen, make others happy, and most of all, make memories of your present, not statistics. In the rush of living, we often forget to make a life.