‘One happiness scatters a thousand sorrows’ – Chinese Proverb
To my mind this thoughtful proverb is not in any way trying to insinuate that forced positive thinking is all we need to deal with all of life’s troubles, insisting that one happy thought automatically erases all the miserable ones as if by magic.
Instead it reminds us that however heavy our burden of sorrow, burying us in helplessness as if trapped suffocatingly under a weighty pile of dank cloying leaves on the forest floor, often all it takes one good gust of blustery wind to get things stirring again, scattering the sodden leaves one by one, leaving us suddenly looking up in wonder at the beautiful blue sky soaring high above our heads. All the leaves, all our sorrows, are still there individually lying all around us, but are no longer smothering us with their cumulative weight, no longer pressing so heavily on our hearts.
In the same way, even one glint of happiness in the midst of countless dark sorrows brings us the promise of a welcome wind of change, a fresh breath of hope, a chance to remember that all is not lost and that we are still here, still alive, fighting and feeling and refusing to be beaten.