In the desperate search for happiness, a person places his hopes and dreams on his family, friends, success in business, acquiring wealth and property, pleasure and beauty. Yet, does he get happiness from any of them?
Family and friends? While loving family and good friends can be a constant source of happiness, he cannot depend on them forever, someone he loves may pass away or leave him. If his love is centred on one person, the separation will cause him great sorrow.
Business? His business can go bankrupt. Someone he trusts may abscond with the money. A sudden change in the international political scene may destroy his factories and property overseas.
Money? The only reason people want money is because they think it can get them what they want. While money can ensure a comfortable life, it cannot guarantee happiness. Have you seen how some rich people live? They surround their homes with huge walls and gates. The doors are padlocked and all windows barred. They live in constant fear – fear of being robbed, of having their children kidnapped, of losing the wealth they have so painfully gathered, of relatives and friends who might take advantage, of being cheated when responsibilities are give to others.
Pleasure? For the moment he is lost in a good show, fine music or a game, he thinks that is all he wants. The entertainment has to be better and more vigorous each time to maintain interest. After it is over, he cannot escape the feeling of boredom and the fruitlessness of these pleasures.
Beauty and Youth? While still young, he spends hours maintaining his looks to draw attention from everyone. But no one can remain young forever. Time will be his greatest enemy. The skin that is smooth and delicate will later be furrowed with wrinkles. Muscles that are agile will become weak. The body that responds to any whims of the mind becomes the home of sickness and pain.
There is no security in family, friends, money, position, youth and beauty. The short-lived pleasures are only brief interludes to pain and drudgery. There is no guarantee against failure and disappointments. There is no guarantee to perfect health. Not even the richest and most influential can buy true joy. In this, the man who owns an empire is equal to a pauper who lives in a lean-to shed. Both have their share of sorrow and disappointments. Both will fall sick, grow old and die.
- Author Unknown