Will we ever learn just to be content?
- Kamran Mofid
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Will we ever learn just to be content? Asks John Lanchester in a very interesting article in today’s(10 December 2010) Independent
No. Says Kamran Mofid: As long as the foundations of our socio-economic and political systems and philosophy is built upon greed, envy, fear, competition and inequality, and as long as the measurement of “happiness” and “success” is based mainly on how much money one makes, how much one consumes and owns. And what a false philosophy this is: all is shattered when one discovers that their friends, neighbours, fellow-workers...are earning more, spending more, having more,...
Perhaps the answer is to debate this issue at our universities, the business schools and departments of economics and more. Maybe we should have courses on “What is Happiness?”: What is it that gives us a more lasting happiness, rather than the transient ones, which we mostly teach our students: money, power, position and possession? As it stands we are obsessed with unbridled growth, “more and more is better” philosophy. Can we not engage with our students and start thinking “about when we have sufficient – sufficient money, sufficient stuff – and whether we really need the things we think we do, beyond what we already have?”. Can we not tell them “that we should look less at what our next-door neighbours have, and more at what the rest of the planet dreams of having. Then, we should try to learn to be content where we are. In a world running out of resources, the most important ethical and political and ecological idea can be summed up in one simple word: "enough".
...”Living happily is “the desire of us all, but our minds is blinded to a clear vision of just what it is that makes life happy”. The root of happiness is ethical behaviour, and thus the ancient idea of moral education and cultivation, is essential to ideal of joyfulness”...