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People surrounded by money but unable to use it properly die of happiness thirst.” -Paramahansa Yogananda. This quote appeared on my FB page one morning. It made me smile and also wonder what the opposite of thirst would be as as I for one will die of happiness surfeit or overdose. For I for one will OD on happiness!

I have never been surrounded by money, alas, but there was a time when I had some and that is when I decided to begin pwhy. I never regretted the decision, even when things get tough and bleak, and they do more often than I would like. I guess I used my little windfall properly. But let us get serious and try and figure out what this quote truly means. To me the meaning is clear. It simply means that if you have then you must give and if you do give you get surrounded by happiness. The barter is more than fair.

There was a time when I sat on the other side of the fence and my ‘giving’ was more a kind of lip service, the politically correct thing to do. Every month I wrote my cheque dutifully and sent it to the chosen destination but in hindsight there was scant joy or happiness. It was more a kind of obligation that was steered by the head and not he heart. I truly discovered the joy of giving when pwhy begun or rather when I started dipping unabashedly into my pocket to meet the daily needs of the new baby I had brought into the world. And the more I dipped, the better I felt. Wonder why? Simply because every penny spent brought a smile on a little face. It was pure magic. And every smile warmed my heat and filled me with incredible happiness. I felt tiny and huge at the same time. And with every day my needs became smaller, my problems inconsequential, my pains and aches non-existent.

True there came a time when the pocket became too light to be dipped in and ways had to be found to replenish it so I embarked on a journey aimed at trying to get others to walk the same road. The results were mixed. Whereas on the one hand total strangers came forward, on the other people one hoped would help simply slimed away. I must admit that this is something I never understood and/or was comfortable with. It was as if I had failed to show them the worth of the equation. Maybe I should just once again share the quantum of happiness you get from giving.

We all at some time or the other feel empty in some way or the other and thus feel the need to fill this void. Some of us shop till we drop, others party, yet others opt for spiritual options and a few even get tempted by artificial paradises. The emptiness is given fancy names from depression to just the blues. Sometimes this happens after a painful loss as was my case and I too tried some of the above. But to no avail as the more you try the more empty you feel. The reason simply being that all these pursuits are self centred. My salvation came from a simple illiterate woman who told me to turn my grief to something positive. That was how pwhy came to be. The rest is history. As pwhy grew my emptiness vanished and in its place came an immense sense of well being. My world became filled with smiles and every challenge that came my way was just that: a challenge that had to be met.

This is how life has been for a decade now. No aches and pains, no blues or greys, just love and light and joy. I am ready to OD on happiness!

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To the manor born