After watching his dog being run over by a car, he moved over to the side of the road, keeping his dog in his arms and crying. Before the dog died, he licked the tears off his owner’s face.
After reading this short, touching story, I reflected on how so many people pay more attention to their material possessions, rather than taking care of their children and animals. There are people out there who pay R80 every week to keep their cars clean, but won’t consider taking their pets to the parlour, or to the vet for a regular check-up. This is a sad reality.
This makes me ask the question – what does happiness mean to you? Or rather, let me ask this: What is the use of having everything, or acquiring knowledge through studying, if you cannot share it with the people you love?
Yes, I understand that material things allow us to enjoy our lives, and make things a lot easier in our daily routines. I must admit, I love being able to pop a switch and have my coffee ready in minutes, or having my laptop available at any time. But what we do not realise is that most of us are guilty of focusing on the wrong things.
Material possessions cannot buy us true happiness. We might be happy with them for a little while, but that happiness gets replaced with something more ‘flashy’ and valuable to show off to the world. We need to remind ourselves that while we are chasing these material things, we are bringing financial gain to companies – not happiness to ourselves.
A good way to start shifting your focus is by making a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life. Read over them every now and again, and give thanks for them. As good as it is to have wealth and knowledge, the true joy of life is being able to share it.
If you are able to smile, laugh, make other people happy, walk an extra mile for people, and take responsibility, then you will leave behind a legacy that you can be proud of, and people will remain thankful and grateful for having met you.