A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
Soon it will be Thanksgiving Day and as we know it has not been an easy year for many folks. College graduates have had difficulty finding jobs and many have had to move back home. Others have seen their income reduced or even have suffered from job loss. Energy prices soar and food and medical costs continue to rise. The truth is our world is not what it was just a short few years ago. Today I would like to share an article with you that I got from Foreign Policy Magazine a few months ago, I was surprised that I found it in a publication that normally just keeps me up to date on global affairs.
The Next Big Thing: Happiness
By Barry Schwartz
Psychologists and other social scientists (most economists excepted) have learned a lot in the last few decades about what makes us happy. They have taught us that, in affluent societies, money doesn’t buy as much happiness as people think. Indeed, for people living above subsistence, it may buy very little.
They have also taught us what affects well-being more than money: close relations with family, friends, and community; meaningful work; security (financial, job, and health); and democracy.
Before the financial crisis, nothing was stopping us from pursuing these things that make life worth living. But, consistent with a substantial body of research showing that we generally don’t know what’s good for us, when the money was flowing we substituted risk for security. We sacrificed time with friends and family to spend more time at work accumulating wealth and more time after work figuring out how to spend it. The short-term temptations were just too hard to resist.
But now, everyone’s belt has tightened. Financial necessity may give us the opportunity to discover that time spent with loved ones is much more satisfying than time spent with your 76-inch HDTV. Once the crisis lifts, we may not be tempted to go back to living the way we did before, if that’s even an option for those millions who are now losing their jobs, homes, and retirement accounts.
If this silver lining does appear, it may bring another benefit in its wake. It might change the way society and policymakers assess well-being. It may become apparent that equating social welfare with GDP is not just inadequate, but more importantly, misleading. It might lead us to develop a gross national well-being measure that will supplement, or even replace, GDP as our principal yardstick of social welfare and social progress. Then, maybe we’ll discover that we were never so well off in the first place.
Barry Schwartz is professor of psychology at Swarthmore College and author of The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life.
I really liked this article because it again reminded me that I have a lot to be thankful for; family, friends, and community. And as he said in the article, “time spent with loved ones is much more satisfying than time spent with your 76-inch HDTV”. So my friends while our lives may not be the same as they were, we may end up being better off than those who convinced themselves that happiness required them to have more things.
No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.
Barbara de Angelis
A blonde died and went to Heaven. When she got to the Pearly Gates, she met Saint Peter who said, “Before you get to come into Heaven, you have to pass a test.”
“Oh, No!” she said but Saint Peter said not to worry he’d make it easy.
“Who was God’s son?” said Saint Peter.
The Blonde thought for a few minutes and said, “Andy!”
“That’s interesting… What made you say that?” said Saint Peter.
Then She started to sing, “Andy walks with me! Andy talks with me! Andy tells me…”
I’m paranoid. On my stationary bike, I have a rearview mirror.
Wanda’s dishwasher quit working so she called a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman, “I’ll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I’ll mail you a check. Oh, by the way don’t worry about my bulldog. He won’t bother you. But, whatever you do, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot!”
“I REPEAT, DO NOT TALK TO MY PARROT!!!”
When the repairman arrived at Wanda’s apartment the following day, he discovered the biggest, meanest looking bulldog he has ever seen. But, just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet watching the repairman go about his work.
The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant yelling, cursing and name calling. Finally the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled, “Shut up, you stupid ugly bird!”
To which the parrot replied, “Get him, Spike!”
What do you call a schizophrenic Zen Buddhist?
A man who is at two with the universe
Mr. Weiss ordered a pair of pants from a local tailor. When they were not ready in the promised two weeks, Weiss agreed to wait another two weeks, and then another two weeks, until finally after six months, the tailor presented him with his new pants and displayed them proudly for everyone to see.
“I want to ask you a question,” Weiss said to the tailor. “How come God Almighty was able to create the world, the entire universe, in only 6 days, and it took you six months to make a pair of pants?”
“Ahhh,” replied the tailor, “Look at the condition of the world and then look at this gorgeous pair of pants.”
To be happy, drop the words “if only” and substitute the words “next time”.
A widower who never paid any attention to his wife while she was alive now found himself missing her desperately. He went to a psychic to see if he could contact his late wife. The psychic went into a trance. A strange breeze wafted through the darkened room, and suddenly, the man heard the unmistakable voice of his dearly departed wife.
“Honey!” he cried. “Is that you?”
“Yes, my husband.”
“Are you happy?”
“Yes, my husband.”
“Happier than you were with me?”
“Yes, my husband.”
“Then Heaven must be an amazing place!”
“I’m not in Heaven, dear.”
As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: “What do I really need right now to be happy?” What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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