With youth: How do human beings differ and why do all want happiness?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readNov 19, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): This Question is in two parts:

One: What is the difference, the essential difference between any two human beings?

Two: Why does everyone want happiness?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The difference between any two human beings can be taken in two ways. One way is the way the world looks at it.

The world looks at A and B, two human beings, in terms of what they have. And that’s how it differentiates between them. What you have is external to you. If the world has to look at two persons, A and B, it will distinguish between them in terms of what A has and what B has. So the world will say: ‘Alright, how much is their bank balance? How much money do they have? To which religion do they belong, which caste?’ And all of these are things that they have. Are you getting it?

‘How much respect do they command? How well are they networked? How much knowledge do they have? What is their nationality? What is their gender?’ That is the way the world looks at any two human beings A and B and distinguishes between them.

There is another way of trying to see what is the difference between any two human beings. And this maybe an intelligent way. Go into it. The first way says: ‘Show me what you have’. The second way says: ‘Show me what you are’. And this way of looking at a human being is far more intelligent. Not what you have but what you are.

All of our life we want to just accumulate in order to increase what we have. We want to add degrees, now we have degrees. We want to have a job, now I have a job. You want to have money, now we have money, now I have a family, now I have things. A car, a bungalow. Having, accumulating, positions. No, that’s not the way to look at a human being.

Want to look at a human being? Look at his essence. Look at what he is, not what he has. Not what he has but what he is.

And what is meant by what he is?

‘Does he understand? Is he sensitive? How does he relate to everything? Can he look at his own mind? Is he a slave of his emotions?