While it may be difficult to change the world,
it is always possible to change the way we look at it.
Matthieu Ricard, 69, is a Tibetan Buddhist monk originally from France. He has been called the “happiest person in the world” by several popular media. He has spent a total of 5 years in solitary meditation, largely in a remote mountain hut.
If you want to be happy, Ricard says, you should strive to be “benevolent,” which will not only make you feel better, but it will also make others like you better.
If a buddhist monk and not Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos is the happiest person in the world – why is it money what we all strive for? If part of becoming the happiest man in the world is to live on your own in a remote mountain hut – why are we killing ourselves (and the planet we live on) trying to gather more material possessions?
Last week, Pádraig had one of the biggest laughs in a long time. It was a situation that was right down his alleyway, the timing was perfect, and the company was just right. It was one of those situations we live for. Totally relaxed, in good company, and happy.
It was last week too, that I met someone who had suffered a spinal injury some years ago. For me, he was the nicest, kindest, most generous and friendliest man I could imagine. He made a most generous donation to An Saol: equipment he no longer needs.
Then I met a business man who wants to help us increase the awareness for technological aids and supports by helping us to showcase them in An Saol. And there was a student who is going to design the best possible method for Pádraig to access gadgets, from a drone to a communications programme. His idea is to design a mouth piece equipped with sensors which can be triggered by tongue movement.
And to look at the emego-switch which senses muscle movement using EMG technology, triggers a switch and can be used to control anything from communication software to wheelchairs and environmental control technology.
In the meantime, Pádraig continues to train hard for the Iron Month.
Pádraig cannot change what happened to him. But he has found a way to live his life with that change. He has no material possessions. He hardly controls his body. But his mind is there and he has decided to live his life to the fullest possible extend. He has moments of great fun, as we do, when the situation is right.
You don’t have to live in a hut in a remote mountain range
to experience happiness.
As Christopher McCandless said:
Happiness is only real when shared.