The Wiseman

“What is happiness?” 

I replied with a grin, “Happiness is when you make other people smile. Actually, it’s when you see them smiling and enjoy it, even if you’re not the reason behind it. 

Happiness is helping someone, directly or indirectly, and seeing that person’s mood change to the better after you’ve helped. 

Happiness is knowing your hard work paid off, knowing that you have people in your life who’ll always have your back, knowing that God is with you, always.”

– “What is love?”

To that I replied, “Love is a powerful thing. Love stretches over any distance. Love is when you put other people’s happiness before yours, when you’re ready to sacrifice something without hesitating, when you feel the need to give your all to someone. 

Love is that little fire that ignited inside the hearts of a man and a woman when they first met, and when they saw their baby child for the first time. 

Love is when you feel like you have to check up on a friend or a family member who is sick, when you feel like calling someone because you miss that person and you need to hear his/her voice.”

– “What is passion?” 

“Passion is when you’re ready to do something you love and give it your ultimate best. You love that thing so much you feel like you always have to improve to be the best. And the greatest thing about passion is that, even if the path to excellence is long and bumpy, you’re always happy while taking that path because you’ve got passion.” 

– “What is sadness?”

I lowered my eyes, took a deep breath, and said, “Sadness, my boy, is that bitter feeling you get when you lose something you love. You remember when grandpa passed away? Remember how much I cried?”

– Yes, Baba. 

“Do you know why I cried? I cried because I was filled with sadness. But sadness comes in different kinds. There’s that little sadness you feel when you get a bad grade, or when your favorite football team loses an important game. There’s the sadness that lasts a little longer and that tries to inhabit your heart, but fortunately fails to do so. This kind of sadness mostly comes to you when you lose a loved one. And lastly, there’s agony. Agony is that ultimate level of sadness that inhabits your heart and somehow refuses to go away. It stays there, fighting for refuge in your heart.”

– “How to avoid agony, Baba?” 

“Well, son, agony settles in your heart once you let it in. But I think the only way to keep agony away is by trying to be a good person. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the nicest people secretly live in agony.  But, son, take my advice and choose something that makes you happy and pursue it. Find people who bring out the best in you, and who push you to try new -safe- things. Find your passion in life. Love more, smile more, help more, accept remarks, challenge yourself to improve…and if you fail – once, twice, or even 10 times – you keep trying. Never tell yourself that you’re a failure. You are incredible. You know what they say…” 

My son looked at me, smiled, and screamed, “When there is a will, there is a way!” 

My little man was growing up. 

– “Thank you, Baba. I can kick agony’s behind now, I’m going to be a happy boy!” 

“I sure hope all the best for you, son. Give your old pops a hug.” 

He hugged me and went to play with his friends.

My wife came in the room, patted my shoulder, and said to me, “I heard everything. I love you and that beautiful mind of yours. You’re teaching him well.” 

Quick Reminder

It’s been a while since I last posted anything, but I’ve been really busy lately. Between school activities, extracurriculars, my studies, and family commitments, it’s hard to find the correct time to blog and to actually think and write. 

I won’t blabber much. I’m just here to tell you a thing or two. First of all, the most essential thing in life is to always be there for the people who need you. When someone needs a shoulder to cry on, be there for that person. When a friend needs to take a load off his/her chest, be the one who listens. The feeling of serenity you’ll feel afterwards is beyond satisfying. Not only have you helped someone out, directly or indirectly, but you’ve also been able to achieve inner peace. 

Also, be thankful for what you have. Lately, I made a decision to stop complaining and learn to accept and be happy with what I have. It worked fine the first week, so I’m trying to make it a lifestyle. Be thankful for your friends. At least I know I am. My friends are incredible, and I don’t know what I’d do without them. Be thankful for your family. No bond is stronger than the one that connects a man and a woman to their children. Family is irreplaceable. And lastly, instead of focusing on the negatives, learn to embrace the positives. 

That’s all I have to say. Put a smile on your face, be good to others, and be kind. You’re awesome, remember that. 

Open Letter

– Dedicated to every person struggling with relationships –

I know you lie on your bed and think about the one you love. I also know you dream about the one you love and wish that person could be yours forever.

I know you smile or squeal whenever you see the name of the one you love pop on your screen. I know you often load only the snaps of the one you love because you want to know what s/he is doing.

I know you dream of talking to the one you love for countless hours and never saying good-bye. I also know you wish you could shorten the distance separating the both of you.

However, I guess you know how hard it is to see the one you love, the one you care the most about right after family, turn towards other people.

I believe you know how hurt you can get when you realize you don’t mean to the one you love as much as you thought you did, or as much as s/he means to you.

I get what you feel.

Every person, including you, wants to mean something to someone more than anything else in the world. Every person wants to be talked about in the best way possible, and know the one s/he loves called him/her irreplaceable.

Every girl wants to know that the one she loves mentioned her name to his friends, said that she was the one he wants, that, even with a messy bun and no makeup, she’s still the most beautiful girl on the planet, that her laugh is the most adorable thing he has ever heard, that his life without her wouldn’t be the same, and that he’s glad and proud to know her.

You have probably fought for a place in the life of the one you love, and have perhaps fallen several times. Maybe there were obstacles in your way, and you lost contact with the one you love for a while, and that period felt like ages, so it was hell for you.

You plausibly wondered if it hurt your lover the same way it hurt you. But sometimes, the sad part comes here: it didn’t.

But now I tell you, dear friend, don’t you dare give up on love.

What I know is that you are stronger than that, and you deserve much better. I know that behind that broken, mistreated soul, lies someone with a bold character who is ready to change the world. You should be the reason people would think twice before breaking someone’s heart.

The first person who hurt you will certainly not be the last. And perhaps you did dream about your lover, and ended up heartbroken, however you should never lose your spark. Shine so bright people would still want to look at you even though you blinded them. Be the reason behind people’s smiles, and their motive to reach success.

I promise you that even if the one you loved broke all connection between the both of you, by breaking free from the pain and burning bright, you’ll find someone who’ll talk about you like you’re his/her inspiration, who will absentmindedly smile when s/he sees your face, whose life you will ignite like a fire every time you two make eye contact, who will do the impossible to spend time with you, and who will fight for you and protect you like crazy.

Again, dear friend, don’t you dare give up on relationships.

Smile More!

Honestly, I believe that in a world where danger reigns, our only solution is to seek help, and stay strong. Easier said than done, you might say, but not impossible. I have liked Unicef’s Facebook page a while ago, and I’ll be sharing some of the pictures I’ve come across. This is a short post, I know, and it’s definitely not that much of a moral lesson, but smiling changes you and makes you stronger. A smile can change you entire day, and believe me, when I saw those few pictures, my heart was overwhelmed with joy. I was happy that the world is turning to the better, no matter how slowly. If you need aid, do not hesitate to search for it. Be kind, be good, and smile more!

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Credits to the Unicef CHAD, Unicef Rwanda, and Unicef Srevige Facebook pages for the pictures.