Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Pursuit of Happiness

A mum was nursing her baby beneath a flyover. Watched as her elder son navigated through the traffic asking for donations from drivers as their vehicles stop at a busy road junction.

We wound down our window and handed him some spare change. “谢谢你,谢谢你!” He thanked us profusely and bowed his head a couple of times in gratitude before rapidly heading for another vehicle. Some drivers dismissed him with curt waves and soon the lights turned green and the flow of traffic resumed. He dashed nimbly to take shelter by his mother’s side and was on full alert for the next change in traffic lights.


Dusk. Time to work. The neon lights lights up the neighbourhood. As people head quickly for the eateries to settle their fuss-free dinner, scantily clad girls sit prettily on their chairs looking out of their shops. Outside, passersby walk hastily by. The sun has set and the weather is too chilly to stay outdoors.

“休闲洗头, 按摩敲背”their shops advertise. “挂羊肉卖狗肉”. Shady transactions take place behind the closed doors of the salons. Yes, there’s happiness to be bought, just name a price.


I was suddenly brought back to a distant memory of a conversation between a friend and I. “Singaporean girls are too greedy. You girls make endless demands. You want everything. Such a hard to please bunch! No wonder Singaporean men are settling for more docile brides from Vietnam and China!” There was contempt in his voice.

I sneered. “Greedy? Hard to please? Difficult?” Don’t even let me get started. The truth is as clear as day. The ready-to-marry brides that you get to pick from the photo folder. Yes, they loved you before they met you. How sweet.


Happiness. A state of well being that people are inclined to pursue relentlessly. It means different things to different people.
But more importantly, the happiness we seek is never but the same.

A peasant girl escapes from her abusive father by marrying a boar of a farmer who treats her as a human producing factory. She feels glad she finally has a family to call her own. Paris Hilton is unhappy. She can buy all the handbags in the world and loads them into her swanky Bentley. Yet, all she wants for Christmas is a non droopy left eye.

Are we asking for too much? Or does the circumstance allow us to desire for more?
The pursuit of happiness is then a never ending journey; it’s just that we are on different paths.
Who are we to judge?

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Blogger crazychick said...

Ivy! this is a very well written piece! very thought provoking. it certainly made me think for a few moments!

we whine about how we look, what we don't have, what we could have had, when all we need to be, is to be content with the things we have and count our (numerous) blessings from above.

平凡就是福,知足常乐, the keys to feeling complete.

9:51 AM  
Blogger I.V.Y. said...

Thanks Jenn!

Yep, we should be thankful that we have a headstart in life (with decent family background and proper education).

But, I strongly feel that everyone wants a better life. It's a "人往高处爬,说往低处流" mentality. Is that being materialistic and discontented then? I think NOT. It's all human nature.

12:28 PM  

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