The question was:
A certain man is handsome, intelligent, and rich, and everybody knows and respects him. He has a beautiful wife and terrific children. The whole family enjoys a high social status. Do you think he is always happy? Why or why not?
His answer was:
He isn’t happy because he is perfect.
My student’s answer redeemed me from daydreaming. He said that a life without challenge and thrill is meaningless. I always wanted a perfect life. That is, a life without too many complications, an extremely easy one. Inexhaustible wealth, an ideal lover, unwavering love and support from family and friends, a beautiful home, and a flexible schedule! What more can you possibly ask for? But I thought about what my student said and realized that all that jazz won’t make me happy. It’s even impossible to have all them without compromising something.
After almost an hour of talking about happiness, my student declared that he didn’t like the topic. I seconded (Blame the book, not me). We were actually talking about happiness but we were serious, even frowning most of the time. Ironic as it seems, I can now articulate with confidence that happiness is really not a laughing matter.
He only wanted to be a jester yet he had it all.