I have noticed of late a flood of articles on happiness. In both media and social platforms, be it scientific psychological pieces or just rank-‘n-file musings on LinkedIn, FB and such, everybody seems to be frantic on decryption of the happiness formula, and various gurus – self-professed or adulated (like the indefatigable Richard Branson) dispensing wise advice on every virtual corner how to attain this state of bliss.
Now, you have everything here: from meditation guides to spiritual New-Agie cliches, showing you the light to the personal cloud 9, no matter what you are going through in life. Just browse the short and very unrepresentative sample below.
The sheer amount of this barrage and the “no matter what you are going through in life” turned my attention to the timing: you see all this excessive attack of pseudo-self-help has been occurring at the height of the most tumultuous period in the last 40 years: at the peak of the geo-political, religious, economic/financial and social global disintegration.
When billionaires like Branson, Buffett and Gates are preaching that money is not a solution to the legions of unemployed educated masses, pledging their wealth to the common good in 30 years when they are dead, I, personally, see it as a cynical joke: we don’t care what will happen in 30 years. We need to put the food on the table like….this moment? That would make us really happy…..Why not support and create jobs now? Make us deliriously happy today by giving us some socio-economic stability, how about that for a practical exercise at attainable happiness?
There is a collective amnesia regarding the not so distant past of just 20 years ago. In the merry 90s, nobody was pondering on happiness, because everybody were already on cloud 8, heading for heaven, even in this earthly life. The sky was NOT the limit and the future couldn’t be rosier. Until the 2000 “bug” when everything went South. And we are walking the desert since. With no light ahead to get out of the tunnel.
So when no one can show any hope for the future, we are swamped with advice to seize the moment, find the happiness inside and in general, to find joy in any crumb that was thrown our way. Nobody cares that demographics are showing a steep decline in birth rates, millennials are happy to stay with their parents forever, because independent ‘adult’ life does not seem so alluring, that we are turning into solitary unsocial breathing amoebas, able to communicate by texting only, because we have no clue what to do in an encounter with a real person.
Yes, bring happiness in when the world around is falling apart.