Is the media and its suggestions worth the hardware we watch it on? It's not offering me a lot.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
For all of us life is always a struggle. We assume those with more are happy and if we had ‘something else’ our problems would be solved. Its too easy to harbor sneaky resentments about those with ‘more.’ Our culture has become generally loud, aggressive and concerned with people and events that for all intents and purposes are probably all lies.
Our reality has been so warped we accept the most unlikely and ridiculous suggestions as truths.
We have become concerned with a freedom that offers nothing more, than the freedom to buy what we want while taking away personal privacy and leaving us in a social environment that offers us to work or stay in our homes. The cyber world offers us a way out. Our reality has been so warped we accept the most unlikely and ridiculous suggestions as truths. We believe consumer goods with built in obsolescence are assets.., we need the next model or update with enthusiastic loyalty and vigour. We do notice that our happiness is not improving with each new acquisition. We should know happiness is not about all that stuff.
Complaining became a right in the 70s when research to alleviating stress led us along the path to primal screaming, transactional analysis and conflict resolution. Since then ‘getting it all out’ has been a part of everyday life in the western world.
Long follows short and near follows far. While we are pointing our finger at someone, someone else is pointing their finger at us. Except the truly disadvantage, any Australians are in the top 20% of the richest people in the world, whether they have money in their pocket or not. Simple by virtue of having a car, home, fridge or even just having one of those things puts us above most of the people in the world. None the less there’s plenty of unhappiness and lots of complaining. Complaining became a right in the 70s when research to alleviating stress led us along the path to primal screaming, transactional analysis and conflict resolution. Since then ‘getting it all out’ has been a part of everyday life in the western world. Screaming and complaining and ‘getting it all out’ might have dubious healing benefits for the individual concerned but its become tough on everyone around. Its become a right. None of it or listening to it is alleviating my stress and doctors and pharmaceutical companies are cashing in on any one who thinks them self disadvantaged in any way at all. What they don’t want you to know is the less you complain the less there is to complain about.
The price of a smile
Those with more (where ever they) are the target of resentment. By default any westerner upon setting foot in any developing country is resented and categorized as someone with ‘money,’ until cleared by the locals as a ‘good person.’ It is assumed all westerners are rich and live in a land of modern building and clean streets. Often becoming targets for scams in developing countries simply for being western , with locals using a westerners inclination to believe anything if they want something, against them. Westerners are a people who get drunk and take endless money out of the ATM. And in developing countries, they are usually doing just that. For developing worlds the life of a westerner is something to envy and, of course that brings with it resentment. Westerners have all the things the developing world believe they might need to be happier; cars, computers.., you know.. all that stuff. It is not possible to visit a developing country and not face the huge discrimination due to our wealth. Whether a westerner is rich or poor in the west makes no difference in a developing country, all are open by default, to the same resentments those in the lower income areas in the west might offer to the upper classes in the west. Resentment founded on envy.
This irony has strong implications for personal happiness for people in the world. Its difficult to convince anyone in a developing country their life style is worthy of envy but of course it is. Very much so. A post modernist might have a field day de-constructing happiness after living in an environment of poverty. The communal life, the daily drive to promote happiness on a personal and community sense. A sense identity with cleanliness is contrary to what those in the west might expect in a land of poverty.., or any where at all for that matter?
So, differant country differant culture but the same personal struggles go on everywhere everyday. The husbands are trying to make money for the family and the wives are concerned with the children (except maybe in some super trendy areas of the west).
I had no money or very little money for months in Cambodia (and at times in Vietnam) and in rural Cambodia. It was obvious no one believed it for a second probably for lots of reasons. It was crazy people thinking I was lying while I couldn’t eat some days. Funny the look on their face when i said i had no money, its what i expect i look like when rich friends tell me they are poor. I made close friends in SE Asia and money became not important we shared a lot where we could, never asking for anything. Friends don’t let friends go without in developing worlds or they shouldn’t anywhere. People dont complain. So for months I had no money in Cambodia and Vietnam, most of those times I had a few dollars literally and a couple of horrific time with no money at all. See the real Asia have no money, it’s not easy. Though in rural areas they are proud they don’t need money for everything, like in the cities.
So, differant country differant culture but the same personal struggles go on everywhere everyday. The husbands are trying to make money for the family and the wives are concerned with the children (except maybe in some trendy areas of the west). Everyone who has less looks at those who have more with envy.. everyone feels poorer than someone else. People who are poor resenting others who are also poor because they look like they have more. What’s the meaning of reality? Everyone harbours resentments about those they envy because everyone envies someone because there’s always someone with more.. So everyone is holding resentments.. I’m guessing in the world of the super rich they are unhappy because they feel poor next to some of their friends… Everyone has more compared to someone else and the target of resentment of someone else with less.. And there is always someone else with less.., but many of those with less are not so distracted by the most unlikely and ridiculous lies ..,their situation brings with a need to have a stronger sense of reality . They might understand happiness isn’t the thing money brings with it past the basics of food and shelter. It also brings with it the razzle dazzle of popularity… that so many strive for.