Happiness on a Chessboard

When you think of a chessboard you see clear black and white squares which repeat in a specific pattern. The white squares on the board are the same size as the black ones. And sometimes we experience contrast like we see on a chessboard, in our daily life. The squares weave through life and become visual to us if we decide to talk with our eyes and hearts wide open.

One of those “chess” moments as I call them happened last weekend. It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was walking on a shopping street called “Maria Hilfer'' in Vienna. Having a big breakfast in one of my favorite cafes was a good start to the day. If you have heard of the phrase “Eating the rainbow,” that’s how you can imagine the breakfast there: a mix of small, colorful portions from Porridge to hash browns. Love flew through my veins because I shared this breakfast with a special person. With full stomachs, we went on a little walk through the crowded streets. People with shopping bags from different stores were around us. Where the newly-bought things came from seemed irrelevant, it was way more important that there was a new product that implies a new “Me”. I was wondering what all the people were looking for in those products and new things.

Is this where happiness can be found?

It was already dark when I got back to the place where I parked my bike. Suddenly a voice from nowhere said, “hi sweet lady”. I looked around and couldn’t see where the voice was coming from. Then there was the whisper again and I realized that it was from a hidden place between the street and the bike parking lot. An older man covered in jackets and blankets was sitting there cross legged and smiled at me. “You scared me,” I said with relief as we started talking more. I believe that every encounter we have in our life will lead us to a better understanding of the world around us and most importantly, about ourselves.

Paul (name changed) told me that the streets of Vienna have been his home for almost five years. His wife passed away and he ended up not just losing her, but his whole life. Rats were running around us, and Paul called them his pets. In my head, I automatically connected them with dirty streets. I realized at this moment that everything comes down to perspective.

I can say that this is my “contrast square” to the experience I made earlier that day on the shopping street. As I unlocked my bike and wanted to go home, Paul whispered, “Thanks for the nice talk, it really made my day brighter” and I could read happiness in his face. And I asked myself again:

Is this where happiness can be found?

For me, happiness is not something that you can buy yourself, it's inside of us. If we allow it to be there it will be there, in the smallest or biggest ways.

“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”- Buddah

These two “chess” moments seemed so different, but what makes them equal is that people are looking for happiness. That’s why you can find them on one board called “life”. I think that is what is connecting all of us – the search and understanding of happiness in whatever situation we might be in.

About the author:

I’m Kristin, an Ethnology student and creative writer living in the beautiful city Vienna. Most of the time you can find me on my bike catching the little moments in life and also, you’ll always find a stock of peanut butter on my kitchen shelve. Creating and sharing stories is one of my biggest passions!



Quote: https://brightdrops.com/deep-buddha-quotes

#happiness #chessboard #life #consumption

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