(Metaphorical short story based on a quote by a Poet named Hafiz)
Nature gave birth to twin girls. She was wise in carefully selecting her daughter’s names. Nature knew that the name would be a label that her daughters would live up to. She chose to name one child Truth and the other Joy. Joy noticed while growing up that people seemed to disregard her sister Truth. Most people were not fond of her. Although it never seemed to bother Truth, Joy began to worry about her own future. She often wondered, “What would happen if people disregarded me?” As it so happens, as Joy lost her baby face and grew into a woman, people began to turn their backs on her.
Joy became obsessed with this fear and tried to avoid the rejection. She studied people as often as she could and one day she stumbled upon a book that promised she would never be rejected. This book titled “The Book of Should” explained to her everything she needed to do in order to keep the attention of people. Truth expressed her opinion very clearly. She explained that no book would have all the answers and that people could not make her happy. In fact it was painly unfair for Joy to put that responsibility on people. Joy looked upon Truth with pity because Truth never had many friends. She didn’t take her sisters opinion into consideration. After all what would someone who was alone most of the time know about people and their nature.
Soon after she began reading, Joy started to understand the books first message. Chapter one, You should be like people and you should be significantly bigger to be noticed. Joy sat and observed people as they went about their day. She noticed that one thing most people had in common was doubt. In order to connect with people Joy decided to call herself Doubt. She figured this would make her more like people and, after all, a five letter name was bigger than a three letter one. Almost immediately it began to work. People saw Doubt but they rarely talked about her. It was like they had a sense she was there but refused to see her. There was something bigger hiding right in front of Doubt.
Chapter two, You should be able to see and do what they want you to do. At first Doubt couldn’t see it. She did not know what was blocking her. What was it that people put in her way? Again she studied people. She looked at their faces and there was the answer. Frowning faces, red faces, sharp brows, twitching faces, it was very clear she picked the wrong name for herself. It seemed that people wanted something else. She introduced herself as Anger. Anger showed up front and foremost shadowing Doubt. This time it was working beautifully. The attention Anger got was immense. People noticed Anger. They connected with her. They even rewarded her. Yet something else was getting even more attention than her. It was something much bigger. Something was wrong and Anger would not stand for this bigger thing to steal her spotlight.
Chapter three, You should not let anything be better than you. What did this mean? What was better than Anger? Everyone allowed Anger into their life. What was this thing that was overshadowing Anger? Anger now listened to the words people spoke. They often compared themselves to others. Most of the comparisons were over what one had that the other didn’t. Anger heard a lot of envy, but envy was just a weak four letter name. She needed much bigger. She got it, Jealousy. Jealousy was huge. What an impact it would have. As Jealously she made much more connections. Not only did people actually feel her, they connected with each other because of her. She was now bringing people together. Jealousy assumed she could put the book down now but there was yet something with greater power and greater attention than Jealousy could produce. Something was feeding Jealousy. She didn’t want to just have the power that fed her, she wanted to be it.
Chapter four, You should never seek Truth. Jealousy was shocked to see her sister’s name in the book, although, she was secretly pleased at the context. Now knowing that Doubt was inferior to Anger and Anger inferior to her, what could Truth have to do with this? What was opposite of Truth? A lie or a fib would be too small. Misled is not good enough but perhaps Ignorance? Yes, Ignorance was a bit larger than Jealousy and impacted almost every person alive. This had to be it. She was so confident this time that she proclaimed it in loud words to the world. “I AM IGNORANCE!” People began to flock to her embrace, feeling safe in her presence. They all felt a place of belonging with her. Ignorance was in bliss for a short time. There were a few people who left Ignorance behind. It began to hurt her. She didn’t understand this pain. What was it?
Chapter five, You should always hold on tight and NEVER let anything go. Ignorance knew exactly what this meant. She called out to those who left her, “I am Attachment!” They ignored her. She cried out again, “Didn’t you hear me? I am Attachment!” They looked at her empathically but one by one continued to walk away. Attachment sat alone in hysteria. She frantically double checked her book. Ran through the names in her mind, Doubt, Anger, Jealousy, Ignorance, Attachment. Not one person stayed by her side.
She realized she was now alone, or was she? She turned around her and noticed two people standing behind her. One a familiar face, the other she had not met. Truth spoke first, “Hello sister, what name are you going by today?”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure what to call myself.”
“May I introduce you to my husband, and can I use your real name?”
“Joy, this is my husband, Love. Love, this is my sister, Joy.”
“You are married?”
“Yes, Joy. All this time while you were seeking approval, I found Love and married him.”
In that moment Joy realized what she had done. She had denied herself of her true nature. She hugged her sister and her sister’s husband and threw that awful book behind her.
“Ow!” a man yelled.
Joy gasped, “Oh sir I am so, so sorry, are you ok?”
The man laughed and said, “It’s going to take more than that to knock me down. By the way I am Happiness, and you are?’
“Joy, my name is Joy.”
His eye lit up with excitement, “I have seen Doubt, Anger, Jealousy, Ignorance, and Attachment, but ever since you were born and I heard your name, I have been running through the streets trying to find you Joy.”
And so Happiness found Joy.
“Ever since Happiness heard your name it’s been running through the streets trying to find you.” - Hafiz