What It Takes to Be Truly Happy

 

A princess became ill, and the doctors determined she was suffering from depression.  To cure her, the king hired musicians to play music near her bed, and he hired clowns to make jokes, but she wasn’t interested and remained sad. A wise man advised the king, “The princess will become happy when she wears the clothes of a very happy person. Find someone who is always happy, someone who has no worries, and borrow his clothing. She will wear them, become happy, and will be cured.”

The king sent his servants to find a happy person. The servants started their search in the wealthy part of town because “who is happier than the wealthy? What worries could they possibly have?”

They started at the home of the wealthiest person in the kingdom, but he told them, “I’m sorry, but I am not always happy.  In fact, I’m always worried that I could lose my wealth due to theft, fire, etc.”

They went to the other wealthy people, and they all replied in a similar manner. They weren’t always happy.

They went to musicians, thinking that their music should make them happy; they went to doctors, because healing people is a joyous occupation, but whoever they spoke to had some worry.

No one was worry-free.

They headed back to the palace to tell the king that they couldn’t find a happy person. En route to the king’s palace, they passed the poor section of town. They were disgusted by the filth of the slum and said to each other, “We certainly won’t find a happy person here.”

Then they noticed a tiny house, made from scraps of wood and cardboard, shabbier than all the rest, and on the verge of collapse. Surprisingly, happy music was coming from the hut. They could also hear joyous conversations coming from within. Is it possible that happy people live there?

They knocked, and the host joyously invited them in. They found a family seated around the table, their faces shining with contentment. The servants asked, “Are you always so happy?”

“Yes. We are happy with our lot. If we need something, we trust that God will help us, and we pray to Him. We never worry.”

“The king’s daughter is sick and if she wears the clothes of a happy person she will be cured. Please, lend us one of your garments.”

The head of the family replied, “It would be my honor to lend clothing to the king’s daughter, but I don’t have any clothes other than what’s on my back.”

(Torah Wellsprings: July, 5782)

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 5 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    • #1
  2. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    IIRC, there was a Netflix video of a man in  who actually lived with his family in a small tent ( I’m talking about floor space the size of a queen-size bed) in a city in India, who was very much like this happy man in the story.  

    • #2
  3. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    JoelB (View Comment):

    IIRC, there was a Netflix video of a man in who actually lived with his family in a small tent ( I’m talking about floor space the size of a queen-size bed) in a city in India, who was very much like this happy man in the story.

    There was a great rabbi who lived a very simple and austere lifestyle. Until he was quite old, the floor in his house wasn’t even tiled. The table was not much more than a wooden plank, and instead of chairs there were just some plain benches. Once, a rich man visited the revered rabbi to receive his blessing. As he entered the simple dwelling, he glanced around and saw the plain furnishings. He was shocked to see this eminent and revered personage living under such impoverished circumstances.

    “Rabbi,” he asked, “how can you live under such conditions? Where is the courtly furniture that befits a person of your stature?”

    Smiling gently, the rabbi responded by asking a question of his own: “Tell me, where are you staying during your visit here?”

    “In the village inn, of course! Where else?”

    “I don’t understand,” replied the rabbi, “You are quite wealthy, and must be used to only the best. That inn has only some old broken-down benches. It must be very uncomfortable for you there. Why didn’t you bring all of your beautiful furnishings with you?”

    “Bring them with me? That’s absurd. When a person is traveling, he can’t take along everything he owns. Most of his possessions remain at home. He understands that his journey is only temporary, and he lives much more simply.”

    “That sounds very reasonable,” said the rabbi – “and now you have the answer to your question. My time in this world is only temporary. I am only passing through on a journey to my ultimate destination. Therefore, I live simply.”

    (shemayisrael.com)

    • #3
  4. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I read about a white girl who trained with a Samurai in a comic book before obtaining a magic Indian stone that granted her super-strength and speed that thought about this problem. If you want to be happy for a night, buy some sake. If you want to be happy for a week go on vacation. If you want to be happy for your life, help somebody. I symapathize with the Princes in some ways more than the poor family. Everyone in that family has to pull together to get enough food at the end of the day. And because they are helping each other, they are happy.

    The ending of the story should be when the Princess goes to the happy poor family and learns to become a seamstress. Many people thought that clothing has some kind of magic against depression because of the rabbi. She knitted clothes for everyone in the poor family. The wife’s original clothes were so thread bare they were little more than rags. The Princess decided to wear the poor wife’s clothes while she was working in her seamstress room to better understand the clothing in order to figure what best garment to make. After a day of wearing her clothes, she knew that she could make the softest baby blanket from the mother’s old and worn but very soft rags. After making a beautiful baby blanket, she went to the poor family and had her servants bring turkey and cheesy mashed potatoes and everyone, including the princess was happy.

    • #4
  5. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I read about a white girl who trained with a Samurai in a comic book before obtaining a magic Indian stone that granted her super-strength and speed that thought about this problem. If you want to be happy for a night, buy some sake. If you want to be happy for a week go on vacation. If you want to be happy for your life, help somebody. I symapathize with the Princes in some ways more than the poor family. Everyone in that family has to pull together to get enough food at the end of the day. And because they are helping each other, they are happy.

    The ending of the story should be when the Princess goes to the happy poor family and learns to become a seamstress. Many people thought that clothing has some kind of magic against depression because of the rabbi. She knitted clothes for everyone in the poor family. The wife’s original clothes were so thread bare they were little more than rags. The Princess decided to wear the poor wife’s clothes while she was working in her seamstress room to better understand the clothing in order to figure what best garment to make. After a day of wearing her clothes, she knew that she could make the softest baby blanket from the mother’s old and worn but very soft rags. After making a beautiful baby blanket, she went to the poor family and had her servants bring turkey and cheesy mashed potatoes and everyone, including the princess was happy.

    Wow, Henry, that’s a beautiful ending to the story.  Thanks for finishing it that way.  It’s quite inspiring.

    • #5
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.