Lost in Thoughts

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
15 year old Amy thinks a lot about life and has many philosophical questions - something her peers dont.

Submitted: July 27, 2016

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Submitted: July 27, 2016

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 AMY
 
There she stood on the pavement with the ice-cream melting off the edges of the cone – Belgian bliss- staring at a point in the distance, an immovable, tiny point.
She hadn’t stopped voluntarily. It was more like as if the fuel that was running her through the motions of everyday life had suddenly run out and made her halt abruptly as she was walking back home.People around her were walking in a great hurry, taking long strides, looking at their watches or smart phones anxiously, their faces expressing the common sentiment of boredom with frustration as if they had long back joined some secret organization called the ‘The Hopeless Future Front’.
However they had lots of fuel inside them that didn’t dry up suddenly like her’s did and she envied them for that.
Amy was sure about one thing though – she was not going to join their Hopeless Future Front for she believed that a future that was hopeless was not worth waiting for. She liked to believe that the future contained bright and shiny things like a trip to Greece or scaling a mountain in the Himalayas. However, all these were things that required money.
Money – a rectangular piece of paper that made 99% of the world’s population get out of bed in the morning. Everyone was after it and yet one never had enough of it. The richer one got, the poorer one felt. The ladder that was supposed to lead one to happiness did not have a last rung – it went on and on and on and further up one got, the further it stretched. The biggest thing in the world was perhaps not love or compassion or beauty but money.
Amy started walking back home again after taking another lick at her ice cream. The taste buds on her tongue informed her of the sweet chocolatey flavour but she derived no sense of satisfaction from it. The pleasure it offered her seemed very superficial and evanescent. She closed her eyes and tried to savor the taste like a Zen monk, fully experiencing the moment, but the only thing she could taste was sadness – a monumental sadness as if the sorrow and futility of the whole of mankind’s activities had crystallized in her mouth.

 

 

HAPPINESS

 

At home, Amy opened up a bottle of cola and sat down to watch the television. She knew she was supposed to be doing her homework but somehow her musings on the way home from school had drained her. She started surfing through the channels.
There was a click at the door. Her mother was back. Mrs.Richardson went straight to the kitchen and drank a glass of water. Then she slumped down on the couch beside Amy and snatched the remote from Amy’s hand. Amy surrendered without a hint of teenage rebellion. She wasn’t really interested in watching television anyway..She just wanted to get away from her thoughts for a while. 
Amy went inside her room, threw herself on the bed prone and picked up the half read book that was lying on her bed -  The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. In it the Dalai Lama, the celebrity Tibetan monk and global mascot of happiness and altruism, who was rarely photographed without his trademark smile, asserted that the very purpose of our lives was to seek happiness.
What was happiness? It was a question she had tackled for a long time. If happiness was the purpose of our lives why were so many people content with living unhappy lives. She wondered if happiness meant the same thing for everyone.
She had recently read a book on economy which said that happiness could be described as an emotion (Were you happy yesterday?) or as an evaluation (Are you happy with your life as a whole?).
Amy tried to make a distinction between the two.
Happiness as emotion: 
watching linen on a clothesline flapping in the wind, reading a good novel with a cup of tea alongside, an approaching weekend, etc
Happiness as an evaluation:
This was more difficult. Amy was fifteen years old and studying in the eleventh standard. She wondered if fifteen years was enough to evaluate one’s life. If it were, she thought she could best describe it as satisfactory - the kind of remark that teachers scribbled at the bottom of report cards - a euphemism for below average.
But didn’t this kind of categorization of happiness have its inherent flaws for after all the way one evaluates one’s life at a particular moment is bound to be colored by the way one feels at that particular moment, that is, his emotions. However there was also a concept of baseline happiness which the Dalai Lama espoused. He said that every human being had a baseline level of happiness that he returned to no matter what circumstances he had to encounter in his life. It was this baseline happiness that we needed to change through various practices. 
“Amy, are you doing your homework?”, Mrs. Richardson shouted from the living room. 
“Yes, mom” lied Amy.
She quickly slammed the book shut and pushed it under her pillow. Taking out her history textbook and notebook she pretended to be going through the questions at the end of the chapter, her face distorted in an act of mock contemplation, nibbling the end of her pen, waiting for her mother to peek inside her room and catch her in that glorifying moment. And she did. Mrs Richardson peeked in and went away without a word, which meant that there would be no second round of inspection. 
Amy was not really fond of history as a subject. Currently her class was discussing the second world war and while she was enacting her ‘perfect child’ role, she had happened to open a page with the Fuhrer’s picture on it, standing in his grey military jacket, looking like an angry beagle. She took her pen to his face and started drawing long floppy ears. 
Little did she know that Hitler the beagle would follow her into her dreams, chasing her the whole night. 


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