The hunt for happiness

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

In today's world we are being told – brainwashed into believing actually – that material things will bring us happiness. Whoa! How wrong.

We are told that if we just work hard enough, get the right job, and earn more money we will be able to buy all those things that bring us happiness.

When we have bought the first things and that happiness is still alluding us we are told that we just need to buy more things and happiness will come from those things we are being told, by advertising (and our governments) that we need to make us happy, we will be happy.

The harder we work, the more we earn and the more we buy happiness is still always, so we are told, just around the corner if we fail, as most do, to obtain it by those means.

A bigger house, a bigger car, a bigger TV, a better PC, a new kitchen, vacationing abroad in exotic places, etc. All of those, supposedly make us happy. Does it?

Buying happiness, obtaining happiness, by means of ever more things and through work that does not make us happy just so we can buy all those things is an illusion. The problem is though that most people do not realize it.

More, more and yet still more is the name of the game of the rat race but happiness it brings not and happy it makes us not.

If we look at people who have very little they are often happier than we, in the developed world, are until such a time that they, unfortunately, also fall prey to the advertising hype.

Happiness eludes most people who try to pursue it by way of the rat race and more and more consumption. Most, if not indeed, all of the rich people are not happy at all. They still want more and more regardless that they already have more than enough.

This is also from whence comes a great deal of the woe that the world is experiencing. They want more and more, those rich, and not just the rich and those that cannot afford to buy themselves the happiness they are told is found in possessions go and commit crimes to satisfy the craving.

My greatest joy, personally, comes from making things for myself from trash or from natural materials; rebuilding bicycles from old, abandoned ones, and such like and from finding useful things that others have thrown away (or lost and cannot be bothered to retrieve). Not from craving more and more expensive things; toys basically. And it comes from trying to live with spending as little as possible.

I do not need this or that new gadget or whatever to be happy. However, this is possibly due to the fact that I grew up poor but being taught from an early age that money and possessions not for happiness make. And true this is a hundredfold.

We need to set out upon a different road to find fulfillment and happiness and one that, at the same time, reduces our impact on the Planet.

The pursuit of happiness by consumption is not sustainable and is destroying the very Planet that we depend upon and will not make us happy anyway. Time for a serious rethink and a new course of action.

© 2012