A few months ago, I heard of the word ‘Sohwakhaeng’ for the first time from my mother. She said that drinking a cup of coffee every morning is Sohwakhaeng to her. I really wondered then if it had a certain meaning, so I searched for it on the internet. According to some articles, Sohwakhaeng is an acronym in Korean that means “small but certain happiness.” Also, I found out that the word originated from an essay “Afternoon in the Islets of Langerhans” written by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, which illustrates a small pleasure in a busy daily life, such as happiness in tearing freshly baked bread by hand and looking at neatly arranged underwear in a drawer.
In addition to this, YOLO, an abbreviation for ‘You Only Live Once,’ is a fad word which is similar to Sohwakhaeng. These days, some people want to enjoy their life in the moment, not just work hard to be happy later in life. Both words are related to trying to enjoy life, but Sohwakhaeng has a slightly different in meaning from YOLO. YOLO encourages people to do what they want, such as traveling abroad or trying challenging things they hesitated to do, while Sohwakhaeng can be found simply in everyday life. Actually, I’m inclined to enjoy or pursue Sohwakhaeng because I like the meaning of it.
To be specific, after hearing the word Sohwakhaeng, I thought it was an efficient ways to enjoy life positively. I’m often so frantic and to some extent exhausted because I’m under lots of stress from school assignments, exams, and so on. After hearing that word, I believed it would be helpful to relieve my stress. Therefore, I began to focus on things that seem to make me happy everyday even if it appears trivial. Then I realized the simple things that make me feel better, like lying on my soft bed after taking a shower, or talking with my family with lots of food on the dinner table, or wearing well-cleaned clothes in the morning. These are just some things that make me happy although I hadn’t expected. They help me refresh my mood and start my day more energetically. I’m still trying to find pleasures in my daily life, and using the concept of Sohwakhaeng works very well. Although I already feel happy from those things, I wasn’t fully aware of it. However, recognizing these things and defining them as happiness, Sohwakhaeng has become meaningful in my life. I think that making an effort to find even minor happiness in my life is very worthwhile. Others may be skeptical or cynical by saying that it is in vain. They might even feel pity for themselves when they try to find happiness in small things. However, we don’t have to always be depressed because we don’t have much money or a great job. I believe the real purpose of Sohwakhaeng is to find our pleasure in our everyday routines.
Of course, things that I consider to be my Sohwakhaeng may appear quite minor and not a big deal to others. However, by making an effort for our Sohwakhaeng and feeling happy from it, we can have a more valuable day. After weeks, and months, we will live such an abundant life full of happiness. Nowadays, a lot of students in college are struggling to study and get a great job. Although it is important to prepare to grasp our dreams of big happiness in the future, finding small happiness now is also wise. I recommend all students who are in a similar vein to me to find happiness in your daily life.