Le Bonheur Continued

April 30, 2009

A couple of days ago I made a post about Le Bonheur, and it provoked some very interesting comments. Today in class we actually revisited the topic, and it was even more intriguing because we all had the chance to think about it and perhaps share some thoughts with the rest of the class. I, for one, had something significant to bring to the table.

What happened was that Leticia, our amazing teacher at the Alliance Francaise (strongly recommend her), gave out a sheet that consisted of a long list of things that would make people happy. The idea was to discuss with a partner and come up with the aspects that most bring you joy. It was a wide range of possibilities, including situations such as laughing on your own, spending time with loved ones, and waking up at 4am by mistake and realizing that you can still sleep some more before you have to get up. The first and foremost, of course, was falling in love.

That’s when the topic goes from a potentially superficial in class activity, to a more profound, thought-provoking conversation. Personally, I’m completely lost on that end. The easy way out is to raise the PACE flag and sing “All We Need Is Love”, but after thinking it through, it’s not as straight-forward as you would’ve liked to think.

Falling in love is an experience you need to live to qualify as a human being. When you’re in love, everything looks different, smells distinctly, tastes stronger, and even feels a lot warmer. But unfortunately, love brings along his old-time friend: relationship. That’s the connection between the fantasy world of love, and the cruel reality of our world. Can love always bring happiness? I personally think love is a catalyst to extremes, and it can swing either way. I also think that no one can be considered an expert in love, which is sad since it’s importance is overwhelming. How can you talk about happiness, when you don’t know what it is exactly, and how it can be achieved, and then use love to describe a source of joy, when we have no clue how love works?

I guess there’s no easy way to find out.

Love aside, we went on to read some of the famous French quotes about Le Bonhuer, and each had to select his or her favorite quote. None of them, I thought, were moving, so I went ahead with the courageous move of declaring that I have a quote that beats them all:

“Le bonhuer n’est pas un exploit, c’est un mode de vivre

All the credit to my sister Nevine who had made up that quote in one of her comments on the earlier post, and I can proudly say that my classmates were equally as impressed. The original quote was in plain English, but it obviously sounds a lot nicer in the language of romance: “Happiness is not an achievement, it’s a way of living”. So don’t go too far looking for the things that make you happy, just live the happy way.

Thank you Neefa!

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