A group of 50 people was attending a seminar.
The speaker noticed that he didn’t have everyone’s attention. He stopped and announced they were going to participate in a group activity, an ice breaker.
He started by giving each one a balloon. Each one was asked to write his/her name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.
The delegates were then let in that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written on it within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with and pushing each other, tripping over one another’s feet. You can imagine the sheer chaos. Some were amused, others irritated—but everyone was intent on finding their balloon.
The outcome was as you’d expect: at the end of 5 minutes no one had pulled it off.
Once the wry grins and embarrassed disgust died down, each one was then directed this way: “Randomly, go in and collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name is written on it. Then bring your balloon with you, come on in and sit back down.”
They did. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.
As the amazement abated, the speaker began once more, this time with an attentive, relaxed audience.
His point? That little exercise dramatized exactly what is happening in most of our lives. We’re all frantically looking around for our own happiness, but clueless where to find it.
The truth has been right there all along. In our feverish searching we’ve just missed it. What is ‘it’?
Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them what makes them happy and you will get your own happiness in return.
And isn’t this what truly enriches all human interaction?