One reason I’m doing this challenge is because I’ll have something to look back upon in the future. It’s always nice to admire or cringe at my past writings. For this daily prompt, I’m going to completely modify one of my posts from 2 years ago.
Today, my friend asked me if I’d rather cry inside a limo or smile on the back of the bicycle, a traditional asian proverb for the unhappily rich versus the happily poor debate.
Instinctually, I would say that happiness takes precedence. Smiling, however, doesn’t necessarily have to mirror happiness. I smile because I am happy too, but I also smile because I know I will be happy. For most people, happiness is a state of contentment. To the people who argue that contentment cheapens what it means to truly be happy, I would respond that they are doing the cheapening because large-scale glorification is the worst kind of degrading. Happiness becomes an ideal once its context is removed but when people say the word without spiritual or poetic intent, it means contentment. That does not make the word any less valuable, just less worth chasing after. Happiness will always be a beautiful word because of its many connotations and uses, but it has to be approached from above, not below. To me, happiness is a byproduct of perpetual motion. The momentary satisfaction of playing video games all day is not even cheap enough to buy contentment, but a day of volunteering for Make Music Vancouver, accompanying for music festivals or even reading makes my brain tingle at the end of the day, and I think I tasted happiness that moment without having to look for it.
So later on, I ask my mom the same question. She said:
When I was your age, my answer would be that I would smile no matter the mode of transportation I took. But now that I think about, what use is smiling if you’re not happy in the end. I chose to smile on the back of the bicycle and now, I can’t seem to smile anymore. That’s why, if I reevaluate- if I knew that I would have you one day – I would have chosen the limo.
Then she told me that I still have to smile no matter what. So I will choose the bicycle by word, but remember to never chase “happiness” on its own when it could come attached with the things I love.
Day 5 of the Daily Post