Winter is starting in Vienna. The festival season is all about lighting, food, vibrant colors in almost everywhere in the world. All shops and malls are decorated with new arrivals. Great discounts in all the shops, friends and colleagues in office always sharing about new offers and x-mas discounts. The Starbucks and other coffee shops are always full and the X-mas special stalls which sale the ‘Punch’ (a type of drink with / without alcohol) are always crowded with people. We bought nice warm jackets, mufflers, winter boots.. and the list goes on.
In short, happy faces everywhere. Hands full of shopping bags, stomach full of warm coffee or punch… and roaming on the cold chilly December evenings, wrapped up in new branded winter outfit is fun.
We started Art Of Happiness program in Vienna, together with a nice group of enthusiastic people and when we learnt the trick to be happy for no reason, we became more dynamic, content and ready to spread the happiness. Trying to be somebody or attain something, brings greed & fear. The flower doesn’t try to be beautiful…it is beautiful. When we stop trying to be…we experience beauty within & without.We came up with a idea to spread these smiles to the homeless people of the town. There are many such people who are homeless for various reasons, War is such one.
Everyone of us cooked fresh food, Chai, Coffee, Pasta, Noodles, Rice, Sandwiches. We also got some warm pair of socks, warm caps, mufflers, sweaters and more. We all packed it nicely in small bags and went out it town in search of the homeless. On the way we found some people and gave them Warm Chai and Coffee. The smiles on their faces were our reward and that made us more than happy to go further. We went to a place where all such people gather for dinner. We shared with them what we had with us.
While doing this, we heard some compliments, the gratitude they had for such small things. Did you ever be happy for getting socks? But here we were watching so many happy people for these simple things. An old lady was telling her friend, “And suddenly some angels appeared from nowhere and brought me food, a winter cap!” Was it just about that? No, they were not happy only because of the food and warm clothes. They were more happy because they felt someone came for them, someone cares for them. Isn’t it with us as well? We always like to be cared, not left alone.
What I noticed during all this is really interesting. Some of those people politely denied the food, simply because they were not hungry. They let the others eat it. They were not greedy. They were satisfied. I don’t find this kind of satisfaction in many wealthy people around me. The more they have the more is the greed.I bet even you have so many dresses in your wardrobe that you didn’t wear since long, still you want more.. and more. More money, more needs. I heard some such rich guy say “It is better to cry in a Ferrari, than to cry on bicycle”. I find no difference. When you are sad, Ferrari or bicycle doesn’t really matter to you. All you need is a little love, someone to be with you and some little happiness in smalls things that really matters.
When Alexander came to India, some people presented him with a plate of gold bread. They told him, since he was an emperor he could not eat a normal wheat bread. He told them he was starving and wanted bread. To which the people said: “Don’t you get bread in your country? Are you going all over and trying to conquer the world just to eat the same bread we are eating?” The statement shook Alexander’s world. It made him realize that what they were saying was the truth. He thought to himself: “What is the point of conquering the world? When all you want is happiness and peace.” Legend has it that Alexander then proclaimed: “When I die, leave my hands open. Let people know that Alexander, who thought he had taken everything, is leaving the world with nothing.” A story by Sri Sri RaviShankar