Mrs Warren-Smith was a very wealthy socialite, who was, like many of her rich friends, ‘under therapy’. Every alternate day, she would wear her most expensive and fashionable suit to visit her psychiatrist and vent her grievances on the unkind cuts that life had dealt her. “Nobody loves me, nobody understands me, I have lost my appetite, I just can’t get to sleep! I am suffering from severe insomnia.”
Her psychiatrist, Mr Cooper, heard out her whole litany of complaints. On her next visit, he informed her that actual treatment would begin. Mrs Warren-Smith was very pleased. The doctor opened the door of the consulting room and called out, “Mrs Jones, would you please come in now?” She was shocked to see the lady. Mrs Warren-Smith noticed that her hands were rough and calloused; her nails were not polished or painted; she wore absolutely no make-up, and her dress was plain and simple. But her eyes sparkled, and the most lovely smile played upon her lips.
“Tell us Mrs Jones,” the doctor began, “are you happy?”
“Yes, thank you doctor,” smiled the lady. “I am very happy indeed.”
“And how is your appetite these days?” the doctor continued. “Do you eat well?”
“The good Lord blesses me with two square meals a day,” smiled Mrs Jones.
“And, do you sleep well at night?”
“The moment my head hits the pillow, I nod off, and I only wake up when the sunlight creeps into my room.”
“Tell me Mrs Jones, were you always this happy?”
“My dear Sir, you know how miserable I was when I lost my husband and son in an accident,” said Mrs Jones, wiping away a tear. “Please go on,” urged the doctor, “tell us what happened after that?”
“One evening, I heard a pathetic mewing and scratching noise at the door. It was a little kitten who had been separated from its mother and abandoned by the family. The little creature was so lost and so scared that my heart melted at the very sight of her. I took her inside and gave her some milk in a saucer. You won’t believe how she was transformed in a day’s time with all the love and care I gave her! And, as for me, I found a new purpose to my existence!”
“Soon, the thought came to my mind, that if a little animal could be made so happy with my kindness, how much more happiness I could offer to my fellow human beings. And that was how my new life began. I did whatever I could to make people happy. And since then, Sir, I have not looked back!”
Mrs Warren-Smith stared speechlessly at the cheerful, bright-eyed woman! She had indeed discovered the secret of happiness! She simply made others happy, and the happiness that went out from her to others, came back to her manifold.
Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader
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