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The Merchant of Happiness

Dog And Cat Cuddle On BedMerchants make their living by selling goods not produced by themselves. The Merchant of Happiness always makes sure s/he, hitherto referred to as he for pithiness, is well stocked before he opens for business each day. In fact, the Merchant of Happiness is always over-stocked, always has more than he needs to sell to call it a day. As such, the Merchant always had much to give, and always gave to everyone.

Indeed, the Merchant of Happiness does not produce Happiness. He travels, sources his supplies from unusual, obscure and exotic places often passed by without a second glance by others. The Merchant of Happiness has travelled far and wide enough, has been to Osaka, Paris, London, and to the diamond minds of South Africa, to know that none of these were the wealthiest places in the world. No, the Merchant of Happiness has died before, has returned from the cemetery with an understanding that graveyards — buried with unwritten stories, unexplored ideas, unpursued dreams and unacknowledged hopes — were the richest places on the planet.

The Merchant of Happiness gets his Happiness from others — not in a leech-like manner, mind. No, he does not absorb Happiness off others, but while he loves the warmth and the color white, he tries to love the cold and black that matters so much to someone else. The cold and black may not make the Merchant of Happiness happy, but his trying to love them makes others happy, and making others happy rewards the Merchant of Happiness with the Happiness he needs for his trade.

The Merchant of Happiness is always dressed in plain, because he found little need to impress anyone. The Merchant of Happiness knows that all the good stuff is on the inside of him. It mattered little if others found it or did not, because they were there whether or not others knew about it. The Merchant of Happiness does not cry over the hole in his pants, shirt, shoes, nor even his wallet; no, these things do not bother him. The Merchant of Happiness cries only when there is a hole in his heart. During these times, the Merchant of Happiness knows better than to be open for business, for his trade is Happiness. Happiness leaks not through wear and tear of decorative material, but through a perforated heart.

As with all business professions, the Merchant of Happiness encounters conflict in his dealings. But the Merchant of Happiness holds back, does not insult even if the other party is indeed at fault, for first and foremost the Merchant of Happiness puts on the shoes foreign to him and walks a mile a two in them. He understands that every person shoulders a personal burden elusive to himself, recognizes that he has had some privileges his disputant had not been entitled to and vice versa. Further, the Merchant of Happiness is aware that it is far more difficult to scrub out the poison and venom from one’s mouth — and another’s heart — than it is to avoid soiling these things in the first place.

For the Merchant of Happiness, time is not infinite. The Merchant of Happiness expects things; he waits for the promise of tomorrow. The Merchant of Happiness grasps that everybody dies — but not everybody lives before their deaths. Having made his way back from the graveyard alive, the Merchant of Happiness has learnt from stories under the ground that people often regret not the life they had lived, but the life they had not. And for each over-stocked day of Happiness, the Merchant of Happiness bows his head in gratitude.

The Merchant of Happiness

Maryann Wei

Maryann is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Wollongong (New South Wales, Australia).

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APA Reference
Wei, M. (2018). The Merchant of Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 20 Nov 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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