The mind is a powerful device. It controls the way we think and do things. It also controls how much happiness or sadness we have. Famous Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy said, “Happiness doesn’t depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.” I completely agree with this quotation for it is similar to the quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” We all see happiness in various ways, whether it being from money or from having family and friends.
The short story by Leo Tolstoy “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” has demonstrated the quote. In the story, the townspeople saw happiness as living luxuriously with fancy clothing, while the peasants in the country saw happiness as having a family and enough food to eat. The main character, Pahom, has suffered from greed of land, and died with an unsatisfied heart. I believe all he needed to be happy was his family. What Leo Tolstoy is trying to say is artificial things can’t bring true happiness, and no amount of lavish items can bring the same contentment as emotional satisfaction.
In the introduction of the story, Pahom’s wife was arguing with her elder sister. The elder sister boasted about what a fabulous life she lived in the town. But Pahom’s wife argued that even though they live a rough life, at least they are free from anxiety. Pahom’s wife explained how happy she was, and how her elder sister’s town wouldn’t be completely happy having suffered from temptations and unease.
Can Tolstoy’s message apply to people today? Of course! There are numerous people in this world, nowadays, worrying about money, or how much “stuff” they have. So many are missing out on what’s truly important, or what really makes them “happy.” Just the other day, I went to the store and a mom bought her daughter a conglomeration of toys, just to make her stop crying. The mom might have bought her daughter’s happiness for a few days, but it’s going to end sometime. Maybe actually showing her love and affection towards her daughter will have a permanent effect.
Novelist Leo Tolstoy has made it clear in his quote that everyone sees happiness in different ways. He also shows it in his short story “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” I believe that happiness comes from what you love the most, which, for me, is family. But that’s just me, everyone else in the world has his or her own views on happiness, and what triggers it.