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The Favour; What Is Happiness by Royden V Chan

The Favour

She had over-slept. There was no time to make her usual

breakfast — she would be late for work and that would

be the first time in forty years.

She opted to pick up something at a coffee shop on the way

to her bus stop.

The line there was long and slow and if she waited to

be served she would miss her bus. She decided to leave,

but as she was about to go, the cashier signaled her

to the front of the queue and took her order.

”You are so kind. How much do I owe?”

The young girl smiled affectionately as she gave her

the cash register slip.

”No charge.”

When she was seated on her bus she looked at the

receipt on which was printed:


and scribbled on the bottom was:

”I never forget a favour.”

What is happiness?

You seek the definition of something

that is beyond all boundaries.

An emotion, as complex and

as variant, in essence and content

as nature itself.

Is it possible,

to find the chemistry of this solution?

Or perhaps to weave some mantle of permanence

from this ephemeral thing?

Or could we grasp

our fleeting joys or pleasures

and clasp them to our breast

so as to drain their nectar content dry

and by doing so

sweeten all the sea of our life’s bitter existence?


It will remain as it is —

a temporary, transient thing,

an unreal reality, that links

the chain of endurance for the living.

An eternity of happiness is the heritage of the dead.


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