Saturday, July 21, 2007

Only once one has known real sadness can one feel true happiness.

The study of human emotions is a complex and interesting task.Though it can be highly subjective, since different people have different experiences, certain aspects can give us a holistic understanding.Humans live their lives based on comparisons. I firmly believe that only by knowing what is bad can one know what is good; only if you know real sadness,can you feel true happiness.Firstly, many rituals and cultural traditions involve feeling sadness or mourning.These may indicate an understanding amongst our ancestors that perhaps we should gain knowledge if suffering as well.Secondly,it can be seen that the definition of happiness and sadness have an inherent connection.It is my contention that happiness cannot truly exist without its dear morose friend,sadness.


The Greeks had a certain deep affection for tragedies and tragic plays. They wished to imbibe 'pathos' into their souls.They seem to have realized that to know sorrow would perhaps help them understand happiness.The Japanese have a special festival where they mourn the loss of leaves and flowers during autumn.Many instances like this can be found in world history where the populace desire to feel sorrow. This is perhaps a reaction to knowing that only by balance, only by knowing knowing the Yin, can the Yang be understood.


The fundamental concept of happiness comes under question without sadness.How can happiness be defined ? This definition is extremely subjective and can vary from person to person. For some, it might mean monetary success and for others happiness could be finding the one they love and sharing their lives with them.However, sadness has a more general definite form. Pain and suffering seem to be more general and have a clearer definition . Though the lack of sadness cannot be equated to happiness, it is definitely one of the prerequisites of happiness.


It is often said that it is in sadness and pain that a person's character is shaped.With millions of people dying without food,water and the basic amenities required for a decent life, people with these facilities should realise how fortunate they are. In the hustle-bustle of today's materialistic world, it is easy to overlook our blessings. Only when we know and realise the pain so many fellow humans suffer, can we appreciate the wonderful life we have been bestowed.It is my contention that indeed, only once one has known real sadness can one feel true happiness.

PS: I wrote this essay in the stipulated 45 minutes for my GRE. Feel free to give me your inputs on how to improve it.

4 comments:

The Solitary Reaper said...

That was good! Read it real late.

Eliza said...

This is great info to know.

ajay said...

Hmmm...so bro studied at princeton review...how was your GRE...can you share some experience about it man?
Score , Univ...nything worth knowing...

karan said...

nice essay...even i wrote same essay few days back for GRE practice test..i think it will fetch you 4.5 or 5 out of 6...!!!