The Pursuit of Happiness – an Open Speech
No, this is not a review of the film starring Will Smith as Chris Gardner in “The Pursuit of Happiness”. Yes, it is looking at happiness through your and my eyes.
What is happiness? There is no one answer that is relevant to everyone. Happiness is relative to the individual. Happiness is a state of being where there is joy in the heart and smiles on the faces. But happiness comes in different forms for different reasons.
A young child’s happiness is mirrored when he receives the two-wheeler that he has been eyeing for the past year. He laughs himself hoarse in sheer happiness when he meets his Disney characters in Disney Land.
Teenaged fans of Mawi, Rain, Awie, Siti Nurhaliza, Andy Lau, S.H.E are in ecstasy when they are face to face with their pop idols. It is no different when the mature men and women rub shoulders with the likes of Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, Reshmonu and Bollywood stars.
A student who scores As in his examination is in seventh heaven when he is given that coveted scholarship to study overseas. However, a struggling student who is not academically inclined is deliriously happy when he passes well enough to be admitted into a university college. To add further to his happiness is when he receives a scholarship to complete his studies locally. The straight-A student is disappointed when he does not get his first choice but the average student is happy at even being considered for a bursary.
A poor man would be happy owning the first motorcycle that he has saved for years to pay off the loan. The homeless sighs with happiness at receiving keys to his low-cost one-room house. The family whose house has been razed to the ground is so grateful for the financial aid from the government and non-governmental organizations to rebuild the house.
The unemployed would find happiness in securing a job for the first time. The job offers him a promise of better things to come. However, a highly paid employee may find lots to grumble about — the low pay, the slim chances of promotion, and an overbearing boss.
It is only when one has fallen to the bottommost pit that one appreciates the little opportunities that come one’s way.
To some, it takes so little to receive and give joy. To some others, it takes much to receive and give joy. In our pursuit of happiness, there are times when happiness can be so elusive. We have to work towards happiness and believe that happiness is our birthright. We all deserve to be happy.