Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Pursuit of happiness.

In the Oscar nominated movie the protagonist Chris Gardner from a homeless salesman wallowing in abject misery becomes a multi millionaire stock broker. Does money buy happiness? Are people living in rich countries happier than those in poor countries? Does economic growth lead to happiness? These questions which were once in the realm of o philosophy are now being brought into the scientific fold, as nations try to the wellness index; and arrive at what is euphemistically called gross national happiness or GNH. The growth in GDP does not reflect the families hit by recession. However most surveys were inconclusive though it established that people with lower income were always in a bad mood, the ones with higher incomes had higher tensions and stress levels. This is loosely defined as the Easterlin paradox, the link between riches and life satisfaction was even more bizarre.
Mexicans were more satisfied with life as compared to Americans even though their per capita income was four times less. Life satisfaction however is not the same as happiness, as even Chris Gardner in the movie was reluctant to admit. Fleetingly beholding the past and “walking down bitter memory lanes”, streets of early sorrow” sans the angst, gives you a palpable nostalgic high. In life you have to move forward to live and multiply, people make their choices. Sometimes when you remember, you see darkness, yet you can see clearly! No worry, be happy.-Vinay-

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