Why aren’t we happy?
Question from the Internet:
“How has civilization added to the happiness of mankind?”
In all our civilizations, human systems are built in order to provide the best possible living experience, fulfillment, health, and happiness to people. At least on paper, this is the premise our ideologies and systems are based on.
On the other hand, we do not see this happening. Even in our advanced, mostly Western society, we do not see that happiness spreads like a virus, even people who have everything they need and much more seem empty, unhappy, and depressed. The use of drugs and other substances and activities — media, entertainment, sports, consumerism, and the endless rat race — that are designed to disconnect us from life and from thinking about our existence is more widespread and overwhelming than ever before.
And when it comes to the future, our expectations and hopes for the future, most people do not even want to think about it. They escape back to the past, to nostalgia, people do not feel they should bring children into a world that is facing seemingly inevitable self-destruction in this or in the next generation.
It looks very much that after millennia of civilization building in chasing well-being and happiness, we have reached a totally different state, the end of the road as far as human development is concerned.
Only when we recognize the root cause of this tendency and a realistic situation can we hope for a change. Only when we recognize and accept that it is our inherent tendency to chase selfish, subjective, and individualistic happiness at the expense of others that is behind all our problems can we willingly and purposefully try to change ourselves and our intentions and aspirations.
We will have to understand that we are, in effect, a single, fully integrated, and interdependent living organisms, where true and lasting happiness can be achieved only when it is or everybody, when we all care about the fulfillment and happiness of others as much as we care about our own.