Monday, April 28, 2008

Happiness of Life.

In the book "Happiness", by Richard Layard, he states that the increasing wealth of western countries does not lead to a corresponding increase of happiness among its citizen and neither around the world. And hence it is important that nations should be governed on the basis of what will make people happy, instead of what will make them rich.

And it sounds convincingly true in the context of Arunachal pradesh. Why people wants to be rich ? That seems to be like a very simple question, with an obvious answer of " to fulfil the requirements ". But will those fulfillments really make you Happy at the end of the day?

We make choices, and thats a very humane thing to do. But, more important is about taking decisions that would do good and make us happy. Now if we try to define the term " Happiness ", we can never come out with a conclusive definition or relate a physical description for that.
Things that would make you happy would not necessarily make others feel the same, in the same sitaution like yours.

Did we ponder on what makes this difference?
Frederick Keonig points out that " We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of something we don't have but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have".
Simple and crispy answer for the whole ambiguity on defining the Happiness or to ponder upon the difference.
This just tells us that, we needn't be a definition hunter for everything that we find intriguing, and Happiness as a matter of fact is the most intriguing of all. But, we do sometimes forget to acknowledge that. We fail to see, that we could be happy with what we have, and with the choices that we have to pave in ways for further more such avenues. But, as soon as we start defining the term 'Happiness', we try to limit our happiness. We forget to recognize the things we have at this moment. Instead of valuing it with what could be done next, we try to monetize the whole issue.
We fail to see the things we have, and instead start fantasizing on the things we don't. Fantasizing could be an debatable word here, but the important point is we start comparing our failures with the success of others.
We tend to forget success doesn't necessitate about monetizing every aspects of life. This makes other beautiful things of life look like an irrelevant entity. The moment we monetize our success or failures alike, it is simple like that of opening a pandora box. A box, full of surprises and further choices to be made.
In his book "Paradox of Choice", Barry Schwartz tells us that, we need to understand why more choices lead to less happiness and our continuous actions of figuring out what to do about it. Well, the reason is simple. Each new choices adds up more to the probability of choosing a bad choice. And this gives us more risks of missing out an even better choice.
The book talks about Maximizers and Satificers. Satificers were more likely to make a good decisions, since they were content with the things they had and the list of choices to be made were relatively simpler. But, on the other hand Maximizers, were more akin to making a bad choice. They were needed to be reminded or given feedback that they had made the best decision. They were also found out to agonize more over decisions before making them in crude sense, and typically regret afterwards in a rather confusing way, could be as in having made a decision, or of not having made the other decisions.

So one should remember that lesser choices we keep, and simpler it is made, more happy we can be.

Life is an wonderful arena of choices. Each-day we start is about making choices. We even make choices of the choice that we haven't chosen yet. Interesting ! But, the big difference successful people create, are about the effective, lesser number of choices they keep for themselves.

Well, this article has got stretched, and I would prefer to have one choice of ending this article by somehow relating it with Arunachal Pradesh as I wanted it to be.

Is Arunachal Happy ?
We have over the years seen and heard about the phenomenal experiences of many people who have gone rich, affluent and powerful. But, the irony is, this species of growing rich people has just confined to few domains be it politics, engineering or administrators. And it is imperative that one has to be thoroughly baptized and solemnized with the holy water of corruptions with the blessings of our political patrons.
I sometimes wonder, are they happy ? Happy doing that ? Happy just earning money, so that he can have dozens of cars to burn liters of petrol every day. Wait ! They don't seem to pay for the petrol through what they earn, but through govt or say public fund.
Another curiosity that has stroked a chord, at least to my innervated sensory organs, is, if the distance they have traveled by burning those oil, has ever served people any good, and at least to respect the proportionality relevance of real-time affected entities. OK. Thats irrelevant here. (sorry, that was again me.... :) )

Intention of this article is to make these classes of people more richer and more happier.
It is understandable that they constitute the top echelons of any functionary that would affect lives of people around.
I want these politicians, engineers, administrators and everyone to get richer. Not just in monetary aspect, but in others too.
People, hate, loath and criticize them (read: politicians, engineers, administrators, contractors etc.). But, people certainly can't shunt their importance. Our society is totally affected and dependent upon the decisions made by them.
Now, Its important for these group of class to understand that, Once they do some substantial amount of good work, it is not just beneficial for them to set themselves free from options of being hurled with abuses, but yes, with lesser choices they keep of getting back the same.
Money earning is an never ending process. Even if you die, after having amassed millions, your son/daughters would like to work. And wouldn't anyone of us desire to see that thing happening?

Easy money is a recipe for destruction, and one of your kins could inherit those.

Well, how I wish Dam shouldn't be built in Dibang or in any part of AP ? But, our attitude of monetizing the whole issue is simply interesting and complex as one could be.

We need to ponder upon, what we exactly intent to buy. Buying is about getting some good experience. Sometimes simple is good, and sometimes complex is good, depending on what a good experience is in a given context.
Well, atleast for me, Dams is about buying us lot of money. Ya, a money is the one that gets us money, and we certainly buy money.
Lots of money, then cars, houses, and all the riches.

But, at the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves,

"Are we Happy ? ".



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