Throughout our lives we find ourselves on this pursuit of happiness, but how do we find it? This was the topic of the group discussion. The children wrote their thoughts about "What makes us happy?" on balloons.
Here are some of their thoughts:
“As soon as I get home from school, all I want to do is play on the Xbox”
“As long as I have WIFI, I’m happy!”
And, the Not so Good…
"When someone insults me, I get angry"
"I feel upset when I get bad marks in a test"
"I get annoyed at my mum when she doesn’t make my favourite food"
We think that material possessions will make us happy, but doesn’t that imply we are sad without those possessions? Are you happy right now?
The children listened to this short stanza:
"The time to be happy is now, and the place to be happy is here
And the way to be happy is to make others happy
And have a little heaven right here"
Staying in the present is Happiness! Our tendency is to concern ourselves with what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future. However, if you find happiness in what you already have and live in the present, all the worries and desires will naturally leave.
To demonstrate this key, the the children in Leicester did an experiment. They filled a beaker with oil and then added water till the oil rose up and out of the beaker. The beaker represented our minds, the oil was all our worries and the water was positivity.
The 99 Club
The children watched a video about an unhappy king and his happy servant. The king couldn’t understand how his servant could be happier than he was and thus sought council from his advisor. The advisor tested the servant by anonomously giving him 99 coins. The servant desired the 100th coin, and in pursuing this, he lost sight of the happiness that he already had. Gratitude Is Happiness. The King learnt that it was his want for more that was the cause of his unhappiness, but this experience opened his eyes and taught him to appreciate all that he has.
Excessive desire is like a poison; we become so engrossed in what we don't have that we lose sight of what we do have. We have so much to be grateful for. To have clean food and water; love; and a roof over our heads - isn't that all we need? So why seek the 100th coin?
It was a smashing 2 days full of creativity, learning and even a puppet show! Empowered with the keys to being happy and making others happy, the children couldn’t help but wonder what was in store next!
"I really enjoyed the Kids Shibir because it gave a wonderful summary for the most important thing in life, happiness. The shibir allowed me to understand how to seek happiness, and how you must never forget to be happy, and make others happy, even in times of pain. I definitely recommend for all children to go because it explains complicated concepts and ideas in such a simple and understandable way. If you ever get the chance, you must go!"