Read an article somewhere a long time back about the secret of happiness. It stated that the way to being happy is to have empathy. In my ego centric younger days I couldn't fully appreciate the wisdom in that. In my 30s now, and less hot headed, I find myself listening more and placing less emphasis on my own opinions on what is "right".
Recently I learned that instead of hammering my opinions into other people's mind-set, I'm able to remove myself from my own ego and see things from their perspective. And I mean really see it from their eyes, walk in their shoes, experience their pain and their joy.
It turns out, people generally aren't the assholes we made them out to be. And when you can appreciate that and see that the world isn't out to piss you off all the time, you start to see the shades instead of solid colours. You begin to feel that the world has so much depth and definition you have yet to experience. And sometimes you're fortunate not to have had to experience them.
There is a strange sense of serenity; and also a very awkward sense of humility. It made me feel young again. Like when I was in my teens and hungry to learn what society and life has to offer: the joy of discovering new emotions and sensations. All of a sudden a great burden of anguish is removed from my soul. It made me a little light headed. At peace. And I think at the end of it all, when a man finds peace, he finds happiness.