I can’t be happy with a banana.
(And that’s sad).
Some weeks ago, Bruno, my husband was telling me about his Sunday lunch with his family. Because he’s doing some research on educational issues for work, he asked his godson what he likes the most in school. He answered “snack time”. Bruno asked him why, and he said it’s because they often have bananas for snack there, and he just loves bananas.
I obviously found it very cute. But I also kept on thinking about the children’s innocence and simplicity, and how much happier we could be if we could just go back to those days.
You might think it has to do with this whole gratitude issue that has come to light in the last years (and, yes, I really believe in the power of gratitude), but what I’m talking about here is one step before.
To be grateful for the blessings in your life, you need to be able to recognize them first. And they might be in the silliest stuff.
Have you read “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler? Well, I haven’t (haha), but my friend Diandra has. She told me about a point of the book that caught my attention: most of the times, we can’t be happy because we always want more. We all know that human beings are eternally dissatisfied. Even though it makes us move on and evolve, we can’t let this condition lead us to unhappiness by never recognizing good stuff we have in life, even if they’re simple.
Ok, to be grateful and to learn how to be happy with simple things: so far, nothing that new. But what’s more interesting for me in all this story comes from Bruno’s godson’s answer. We don’t need to “learn” how to be happy with simple things, because we were all born simple. The simplicity is inside of us. If we were able to be happy with silly stuff when we were kids, we should be able to do it now too. When and why has this capacity vanished?
Who am I to say this for sure, but I guess one of the reasons is that, when we are young, we haven’t experienced many things in life, so everything is new and amazing. As we begin living and trying new things, we start to find the old and already known stuff just normal and almost foolish. And if you think about it, it makes sense. It seems to be logical. But it’s kinda sad.
So, in the end, the question actually should be: how can we bring this capacity back? I don’t like bananas that much, but I’ll start tomorrow morning, trying to taste a cup of coffee like it was the first time.