A pupil once asked me about heaven and hell. I told that pupil heaven and hell is in the heart. When we are happy with ourselves, it is like paradise on earth, and vice versa.
There are times when we look for the little pleasures to comfort ourselves. The easiest are material comforts. Think of food, spa, holiday etc. Some of the material comforts further bring about a sense of achievement or pride, such as car, poster photos on Facebook that show the most exotic tours, garnering record high likes. It is like killing 2 birds with 1 stone, enjoying the experience and stroking the ego.
My family went for a staycation during the national day holiday. I pampered myself with one of the finest hotel stay and buffet meals. Strangely, I felt very bored and empty. I am happy that my child and niece had a good time, but the holiday crowd gave me a headache and I am screaming inside. I could literally feel my heart beat faster in the queues.
I realize sadly, or fortunately, satisfaction come from my work rather than these little indulgences that I pursued.
It is not that my career is smooth sailing, but despite the headache it gave me, it nonetheless provide a calling and a sense of purpose.
I realize recently, life is about choices. I am not doing about choices accumulating wealth. It's about accumulating karma. There are many people I met, some toxic, some are my loved ones, some passing by. Whoever it's is, or whatever the circumstances, there are always an option to be kind and offer help to the distress. But real help is difficult, requiring a lot of follow up and real compassion to make it sustainable for both the helper and the beneficiary. It makes helping pupils seem like a breeze.
It also made me realise my cutivation is really low, as I couldn't really bring myself to help, rather 独善其身，一个人潇洒。
That elusive happiness. I saw it and knew how it can be like.