Dr Amir Lakha (London, UK)
Your happiness and fulfilment in life is not just due to your ability to make a living but your knowledge in how to live in this world. In order to be a happy winner in the journey of life you need to generate 7 types of wealth which include (1) good and reliable relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours (2) good health (3) positive thinking (4) enjoyment of career (5) money and assets (6) travel and wisdom and (7) ability to help others.
Recognise the priceless worth of the love and respect you receive from family, friends, colleagues and neighbours – and zealously guard it. Patience with family is love, Patience with others is respect. Patience with self is confidence. Your relationship, interaction and attitude towards your parents, spouse, children, work colleagues, business colleagues, customers, club or community members, friends, neighbours, acquaintances and strangers will determine directly or indirectly your level of happiness.
There is a correlation between moral values and justice in society. More than ever, the modern sophisticated age of science and technology is in need of this guidance, so that people of the world can live in peace and harmony. Having loving, supportive and reliable relatives, friends and neighbours is a form of wealth. Treasure it.
Those who are one’s kith and kin, through relationship with common parents or common brothers and sisters or relation through in-laws are important persons for whom mutual affection, cooperation and helpful attitude needs to prevail for happiness in the long run.
Good treatment of one’s relations and neighbours has been emphasised and counted among the highest virtue in most religions and cultures. A person who cold-shoulders his relations or treats them in an indifferent manner is looked down with great disfavour. On the other hand, however, support or partiality towards one’s relations, as may result in corruption and injustice, is repugnant and should be discouraged.
Similarly, it is not justifiable for a government official or a public trustee to support his relations at public expenses or to be partial to his kith and kin in his official decisions; this would actually be a corrupt act that can cause injustice to others who are not related and generate disharmony. Fair treatment of one’s relations should be at own expense and within the limits of justice and fair play.
Show respect, understanding and tolerance towards your neighbours. Don’t wait to be asked for help and assistance. Offer assistance when you see there is a need. You yourself may need assistance next – you don’t know what is round the corner. Nobody knows who will need whom, where, when and how.
Why should I love my neighbour like I love myself? The answer is simple: Because it’s the most sensible thing to do. There are 3 choices – either love your neighbour or hate them or show indifference to your neighbours. Loving your neighbour is the first and best choice among the three choices you have with regard to that person next door. Loving an irksome neighbour is not as hard as it seems. It simply means respecting the person and thinking of his needs and desires as much as you would your own. Your neighbour is important for your own peace of mind and happiness.
Different religions propound love of your neighbour as an important part of their teaching. But you don’t have to be a religious person to love your neighbour…because love of your neighbour is a superb human emotion, not necessarily tied to any creed or religion.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest teaching. And the second greatest teaching is: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” All other teachings hinge on these two teachings. This is how Christianity explains the Golden Rule of ‘Love Thy Neighbour.’
World religions have strikingly like-minded beliefs on the Golden Rule: Hindus believe that one should never do to others what would pain oneself; Islam says not one of you is a believer until he loves for his neighbour what he loves for himself. The Sikh faith asks you to treat others as you would like to be treated. That nature is only good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self is a precept of the Zoroastrian faith. Buddhists say, hurt not others with that which pains you. And Confucius said: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.
There was a farmer who grew superior quality, award-winning corn in his farm. Each year, he entered his corn in the state fair where it won honours and prizes. The farmer shared his good quality seed corn with his neighbours. He explained, “If my neighbours grow inferior, sub-standard and poor quality corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I have to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours to grow good corn.” His corn cannot improve unless his neighbours’ corn also improves. So, it is the same in the other dimensions and areas of life as well!
Those who choose to be in harmony must help their neighbours and relatives to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others live well. If others live well they are less likely to commit crimes against you whether in the neighbourhood or on the streets or in the town. Less poverty keeps crime at bay. You feel safer and enjoy a good quality of life without fear.
The value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. Success does not happen in isolation; it is most often a participatory and collective process. So, let us share the good practices, ideas and new knowledge with our family, friends, team members and neighbours…
From the cradle to the grave, humans need love – particularly unselfish true love. If you feel loved and you can love others, you are happier and live longer. Happiness and life satisfaction arise from social relationships and meaningful work. A review of more than 160 studies on the connection between a positive state of mind and overall health and longevity has found “clear and compelling evidence” that happier people enjoy better health and longer lives.
Nurturing our need to belong and connect with others is beneficial in more ways than one. Those who are thankful for everything they receive feel more satisfied and happy with life. Always be rejoicing and in connection with everything, give thanks. In order to do that, of course, we need to make a conscious effort to recall the good things we experience and receive and share with others, including relatives and neighbours.