“Happiness is only real when shared”…
That’s what Christopher McCandless wrote before his death in the Alaskan wilderness at the age of 24. He died due to starvation. People have different ideas about real happiness. Some people believe happiness comes from money, wealth, honor, and power. Some people believe happiness exists with love. Simply, all of these beliefs and ideas are wrong. The beliefs are incorrect because those things are not essential to realize real happiness. I believe a shared happiness is only can be defined as real happiness.
To begin with, there are no people who can be happy alone. Christopher McCandless is a man who traveled and ventured into the wild.
He hitchhiked across the continent for two years before ending up in a makeshift van in Alaska. He gave up his family riches and a possible bright future. Away from world’s materialistic scope, in a more subtle term, he was looking for the meaning of life in solidarity by trying to kill the “false being within”. He is a great example to describe the real happiness. Christopher Mc Candless had been alone for a long time during his adventure.
Before he died alone in the wildness, he realized happiness is valuable when shared. He thought he could be happy without his parents, brothers, and friends and he thought that he was happy enough.
Christopher’s life is chronicled in the movie, Into the Wild. The movie retraces his journey and the people Chris met along the way. In the end, Chris found himself alone and isolated. As his life slipped away, he realized that loneliness is the saddest human condition. He found Alaska to be beautiful and marveled at its landscape, but only had his thoughts and diary to share his experiences. It was in those moments that he discovered the true meaning of happiness, that it must be shared to be real.
Also there are different ways to feel happiness. Some people feel they are happy when they compare their financial condition to other people’s condition. Even though a man has a lot of money, the man cannot feel that he is happy without any comparable object. It is why money, wealth, honor, and power are not the key points of realizing real happiness.
Of course, those are optional things to feel happiness. However, those do not have direct relations to have real happiness. Some people who think real happiness comes from material possessions mistakenly think they need more things in their lives, when really, they simply want more things.
A Swedish Proverb says —
“Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.”
If this proverb is really true than there is no greater virtue in the world than sharing of your joy and sorrow because sharing increases your joy and decreases your sorrow. Since we all wish to maximize our happiness and minimize our sorrows, sharing of feelings seem to be the best way to live the life.
However, we don’t really see this happening in the real world. It is because no wisdom is true all the time on all the people in all the situations. The wise people have also taught us not to share our pains with others.
The famous poet Rahimdas said,
Rahiman nij man ki vyatha, man hi rakho goye.
Suni athilaihen log sab baanti na laihen koi.
You must keep your pains to your heart and not tell others.
Others will only laugh at your suffering, but none will share it.
You Enjoy Your Life More
- when you enjoy your day as well as your nights,
- when you enjoy your work as well as your rest
Your Happiness Is More Real and True When
- You can share it with others
- You can also enjoy it alone
When I think of Chris dying alone, I wander what his thoughts were as he took his last breath. Was he afraid? Did he think of someone in particular? Was he thinking of God? Was it painful? Was it worth it? We only have his diary as our window into his soul and it revealed a young man in search of happiness only to find that it resides in the presence of another as he died alone far from any other soul to comfort him.
Even though everyone wants to be happy, they cannot always get their wish. For real happiness, materials are not necessary, but sharing. People should know how to share their happiness to be happier such as the social volunteers. Because nobody can be happy alone, they should share their happiness with others. I believe this because I understood and recognized what real happiness means.