HAPPINESS: Be kind as you celebrate Christmas

By Aliker David Martin

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Aliker uses Smart Board

How do you celebrate an achievement? It could be through a hearty laughter or dancing like the football stars celebrating a touchdown. While other people celebrate Christmas season by eating and drinking, I chose an act of kindness that would bring me fulfillment.

One of my best friends invited me over for Christmas with a fully paid flight. We met in Africa while he was an intern student of Notre Dame. I felt obligated to pass on the kindness. I decided to spend time in an elementary school visiting pupils with autism before they could break off for Christmas. I was greatly inspired by the world of possibilities in the lives of these children. Indeed, disability is not inability. My greatest sensation was seeing the children use Apple installed operating system in Smart Boards. Smart Board is an interactive white board developed by Smart Technologies. Relating and listening to these children gave me a strong sense of purpose. Any effort to meet our sense of purpose brings us happiness. Besides, I also treated my self in the evening to a great dish and some drinks. If you treat your self-kindly, it will reciprocate the gesture by bringing you joy and high spirits.

Having said that, I implore you to identify a sense of purpose this festive season and be kind. In Dalai Lama’s words, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion” Give yourself a treat to find happiness this festive season. A good massage could be so rewarding to the body just like an act of kindness brings you inner joy and fulfillment.

Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year


HAPPINESS: Can money buy happiness?

By Aliker David Martin

November 25th, 2011

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama XIV

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln

This week, I spent time with a few kids from some of the riches and most affluent families in California. My focus was to find out how different I was compared to them. Suddenly, an idea came in mind; can money buy happiness? Instantly, a friend came in mind. When I met him over a decade ago, he had a small beautiful family. He had enough not to struggle with the basics of life. He had around him friends from all walks of life. Today, he is by any global stands a wealthy man. He spends a lot of time in his business to make more money. He has little time for family and only hangs out with only business friends. Unfortunately, he is less happy. So while I met these folks from some of the riches and most affluent families, I asked my self; can money buy happiness? This is what came to mind.

It depends on how you spend your money. If you spend money buying illegal drugs, in search for sex and alcoholism; your immoral ways will catch-up with you. There is always a price for all our actions. They either reward us or punish us for our conduct.

Secondly, it depends on the kind of person you are. Different people respond differently in the presence of money. You can spend money to buy pleasure and be happy. My friend had greed and spent more time making more money and forgot that its friends and family that brought him happiness.

Finally, it depends on how much money you have relative to the people around you and relative to your experience. Before meeting these folks from affluent families, I felt happy and fine with what I have and who I was but after meeting them I felt different noticing how much I needed and how much I didn’t have.