I was having coffee with my daughter & JH at a Shinjuku cafe after a satisfying meal at Ganso Sushi, a kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi (回旋寿司) shop on 12apr2013. My daughter just returned from a full & wonderful day trip to Hakone having glorious sunshine & clear view of Mount Fuji, and I was asking her if she liked to retire early as her hotel was at Asakusa area, but she wanted to have a coffee together.
We were chatting about various things including her starting work soon after graduation and the career options for her & JH. I asked about her starting salary & she asked what she should give to me. I told her I knew what she would give to my wife but if she would like to give more she could give all to my wife. She said “no la, I like it to be the same”. So I told her I would accept of course and that my belief was in life it was just as important to receive as to give, which my daughter nodded affirmatively her concurrence.
All parents would be more than happy to receive any token appreciation from their children as they commence the next lap of their life’s journey with new jobs & financial independence, without placing too much burden on the children. It is both a great feeling for the children to offer and for the parent to cherish the offer & to reinforce the positive energy by showing appreciation for the offer.
Though we mostly know how short & transient life is, and what make us happy & how we should try to be positive, the world is so filled with tragedies, depression, anxiety, anger, sadness, and we are continuously invaded & distracted by negative thoughts throughout the day.
I constantly remind myself to make myself happy, and all my loved ones and friends happy (and strangers too) where I can without trying overly hard. This is of course just my personal views and may not apply to others – everyone would know how to make themselves happy if they want to & if they try. 🙂
Why not try overly hard? The thing is that if you have expectations that others must share what you believe, think what you think, or understand or appreciate what you do, then (1) your mood which reflects your true self however you want your self image to be will not be relaxed & expansive & you will be just putting pressure on yourself (2) there will be lack of earnestness and instead of generating positive energy, you will be generating negative energy.
But effort is important! I used to tell my children – you must want something! if you don’t want it or treasure it or show the pleasure in receiving or achieving it, why should people want to help you get it? 🙂
So try hard we must, because without effort there is no earnestness. I recall The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho said something like “When you want something, all the universe is conspiring to help you achieve it”. My understanding of this is that when you do something in earnest without having an ulterior motive or expectation but at the same time you are serious & fully committed and want it in all earnestness & enjoy & are happy doing it, then the positive energy trigger & bring forth all the positive energy from everyone else, so everyone is happy to help you achieve it.
So to me, the purpose must be to increase the happiness of myself and all around me. and so it is a pleasure to give. it makes people happy and make yourself happy. at the same time it is a pleasure to receive and to show the same earnestness in receiving – the appreciation & happiness. 🙂 if you belief that giving makes you happy because you also want others to be happy, then it follows that others feel happy when giving and if it also makes you happy to receive (please do NOT accept anything if it does not feel right or make you happy to do so!) then let others have that happy feeling of giving and positive energy & goodwill will multiply. Like the saying goes “sorrow lessen and happiness multiply when shared”.
We always teach our children – know when to say NO! that is correct of course. at the same time, we should know & treasure the moments when to say YES! 🙂