A Blog A Day

It\’s a blog where I write about the extraordinary and the ordinary things going on in my life.

A Very Private Affair

Two weeks ago, I visited my workmate at the hospital. She just gave birth to a healthy baby girl. I held the newborn baby in my arms. I fed the baby milk and I put the baby to sleep. I felt so sad and happy for the baby. I couldn’t explain it. I felt happy that she is healthy. And I felt sad since her mother is going to give her away.

Eight months ago, the mother’s baby, J, my friend tried to have the baby aborted. She took all kinds of abortion pills just so she could get rid of the baby. Apparently it did not work. The pregnancy continued. J did not want the baby to be born since the baby’s father was not her husband.

For nine months, J kept the secret of her pregnancy from her husband. It was relatively easy to hide from her husband because her husband and her first-born daughter were living in another city. She’s been estranged from her husband for a year, but they were planning of getting back together. But plans of a reunion quickly evaporated since J had an affair.

The husband eventually found out about the affair that J had with her officemate. The husband was furious and beat her up. What the husband didn’t know was that J was already carrying a child at that time. The husband quickly went back to their hometown. There were talks of another marital reconciliation despite the affair. But J wasn’t forthright about her pregnancy to her husband. And even as a write this, her husband has no clue that she just gave birth two weeks ago.

I asked J why she had an affair. And all she said was, ” Because my husband also had an affair before.” Her answer was simple. And as a Buddhist, I tried not to judge her for her actions. But being human, I can’t help but judge her for her actions.

People often tell other people that they want to be happy. But we seldom see people actually making the right effort and doing the right things in order to be happy. The desire for happiness is there. But people often don’t know what to do to make themselves more happy. I guess it stems from the fact that people don’t know what true happiness means.

People who go after material things will obviously not find true happiness. When you finally are able to buy the things that you like, it would seem like you’re happy. But soon, the initial euphoria will fade away. And you will have to buy more and more things in order to get back the feeling of happiness.

J thought that by having an affair she would finally find happiness. But having an affair would not lead to true happiness. There was never any love and real connection between J and her lover. That explains why J’s lover never acknowledged that he was the father of the baby.

J once expressed how sad and unhappy she was. Even during the latter stages of her pregnancy, she still tried to kill the baby by drinking alcoholic beverages. But the baby still clung to life.

At the hospital, J finally became honest with herself, ” I know that giving this child away is wrong. But I can’t go back to my family and tell them about the child. My mother will kill me.”

I didn’t say anything. I already told her the right thing to do. But for her that was out of the question. But I felt that giving the child away to someone more responsible would be the best thing for the child. I don’t believe that the child would have a good life with J as the child’s mother.

” Did you learn your lesson then?” I asked her.

” I have.”

True happiness means doing the right thing. Happiness doesn’t just happen to people. I know that it’s often been said that happiness is within. But how can people ever hope to find it within themselves when they don’t even do the right thing?

Happiness is right thoughts. Happiness is right effort. And most especially, happiness is right action. Things that would lead to more happiness are things that are done by doing the right things.

****

When talking of happiness, Sakyamuni’s Eightfold Path comes to mind.

The Eightfold Path

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood.
6. Right effort.
7. Right mindfulness.
8. Right concentration.

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