HAPPINESS:Why Butterflies Fly and Humans Drive


“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness.” — Henry David Thoreau

Just like any adolescent, I always treasured a complex life until I got my first job. My job excitement influenced me to buy the most expensive shoes I could afford.

As I received compliments from colleagues, my boss cautioned: “simplicity shows the magnanimity of the soul.”

I later would never forget these words as life threw punches at me. My boss was the richest educationist yet the simplest teacher ever in Uganda. This was the awakening of my simplicity consciousness.

Last night, a friend told me a story of a young American who visited one of the rural village fishing sites in Africa.

He was astonished by the lifestyle of the fishing community. The Africans used sticks and strings tied to a hook to fish.

Most of them used local boats that could barely move deeper into the lake while others remained on the shores of the lake.

They spent the whole day fishing and holding conversations by the lake side. In the evening, they enjoyed the walk back home to prepare their meal.

The young American got inspired to help. He asked his parents for money to set up a fish factory.

He bought motorboats, refrigerators and sophisticated fishing tools worth millions of shillings. He anticipated that he would sell the fish and save the Africans from wasting more time.

Unfortunately, the project failed to take off after completion. The American then consulted the village elders, why the fishing community had turned down the project.

An elder told him: “Welcome to the roots of wisdom.” It’s all about the simplicity of our life style. Your project will make our lifestyle complex. The elder continued: “Your project will make the fish extinct for our grandchildren. We don’t know how to operate the machines you have brought but even if we learnt, the fish would cost us much more than we have always paid.”

The young American responded: “But I will save you a lot of time to do other things and you will have enough fish to eat whenever you need it.”

In response, another elder said: “Look, my son, the time our children spend at the fishing sites is for dating, that’s how they identify partners. Besides, we don’t practice agriculture here. If our children get more time to do nothing, they will use it to do wrong things.” CONTINUE


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HAPPINESS: Seek Simple Steps to a Spiritual Life


By Aliker David Martin

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle” Albert Einstein

Connecting to the spirit

Before you ignore the idea of spirituality in your pursuit of happiness, take a leap of faith and complete reading my blog post. My intention is to stimulate anxiety in you to explore what those with faith see that you don’t see in a spiritual life. By spirituality it could mean God, higher power, the spirit, Universal source, or nature. My self-conscious spiritual journey began as a child in an elementary boarding school. Apparently, it was a period of war and so many pupils who had witnessed scary scenes were always seeing ghost in their sleep. They would cry out loud so much in the night that even the Matron would get scared. As expected of a missionary school, the chaplain is invited and he teaches us the prayer “ Angle of God”. Looking back as an adult, I realized that we were more scared of uncertainties than the ghost itself. We felt so insecure in our sleep and at school.

Many years after this incidence, I was teaching Christian Religious Education in a high school. Unlike most teachers, after school I would pray with the students before going back home. One day, as I taught about life in the spirit world, a student began to cry. I inquired why she was crying and she told me, her mother will soon be in a theatre for an operation at the hospital and the doctors think she might not make it. Her relatives had visited to prepare her incase her mother didn’t make it. I asked her to join me in prayer after school. I introduced her to having personal moments of reflection on faith. I now consider this meditation. And most importantly, to always attend our choir practice. To make a long story short, her mother survived the operation and she remained strong in her spiritual journey even after high school.

In other words this simple steps in spiritually gave her strength and resilience to cope with the uncertainty in her mother’s life. If you develop a spiritual life, you don’t need to figure out everything or be in control but you live in the flow of life, trusting the underlying benevolence and wisdom of the higher power. And this brings you less stress but a positive outlook on life. That prayer at our elementary school made us less anxious and we looked positively to a night without ghost.

Studies show that those who have a spiritual dimension to their life are happier than those who don’t; they have better marriages and cope better to adversities in their lives. I know some one reading this blog is going through a difficult moment. Take a leap of faith and start your spiritual journey by meditating on your relationship with your spiritual self. Listen to the inner voice in you.

Not only does spirituality give a person strength and resilience, it helps us understand that when you seek to broaden your perspective and try to see life from a spiritual point of view, everything makes a lot more sense. My student took a leap of faith to explore the path of spirituality that she had less travelled and it changed her life.

Conclusively, Teilhard de Chardin a philosopher once said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience”. You lose nothing seeking a spiritual life.