Somebody sometime ago said “The only thing that is constant is change itself”. True why does it matter or so I thought till now. Then it hit me. I actually found a plausible answer to a question that has been plaguing me for some time now. A question that I had briefly discussed here. What makes one happy?. The answer is change, not just any change but a positive change. Expected or unexpected, but in a very positive direction. An improvement if you may.
It was interesting to get three different perspectives of this on one single evening. Two from very good friends and one from my own life. First dear friend is a graduate student in one of the good universities in US and his view was valid. He said despite a dull boring graduate life with no growth to look forward for the next few years and no salary hikes to expect, the thing that kept him interested was discovering new problems to work on every single day. That gave him the rush required to push through life which was devoid of all personal stuff including girl friends.
The second thought arose from my own experience. I got bored doing the same day to day stuff at job. Moved on to pursue masters in management, got bored of that in a while and then life took a whole new turn. It got all the more exciting and every day was new in one sense or the another. Last perspective was from a very good friend again. Her life is full of changes and boy they are all mostly bad. It is in these times when one wishes that monotony is much better than such changes. I sincerely pray that her life gets back to normal.
Ruminating on these different ideas, I end up thinking very philosophically, or one may even call it religious but there does seem to that something that changes times for people, creates experiences out of thin air and keeps an organism ticking be it the primal desire for food to the more sophisticated need for money or power. Call it whatever, precisely when I was thinking about all this when I came across this book in tamil whose title translates to “Secrets of Romance” (To all you dirty minds.. it’s not Kamasutra n its not anywhere near about sex)
The first article in the book goes on to describe how small changes, small surprises keeps the bond of marriage going on for ages and ages. It says, it is that small appreciation, that small break from routine for an unplanned outing, that small unexpected gift, that small burst of love and ever present respect for each other holds the bond of marriage and makes it enjoyable through one’s life. I haven’t experienced that part of life to comment on it, but looking at my parents makes me agree completely to this school of thought.
Along these lines came the thought that, what exactly people mean when they say “stay young at heart” ?. I believe staying young means being curious, curious of new things that bring about positive change. That passion for change seems to be driving force behind me. I’m not sure if I will ever conclusively have a reason for happiness but change seems to be definitely among the top reasons and in some strange butterfly theory fashion it seems to connect to everything else.