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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Monday, February 02, 2009

The road to happiness

Dear Ivor

After reading your previous post I have been dwelling on success and failure. How do you measure the success of society, is it personal happiness or Gross National Product. I am not going to say that money doesn’t bring happiness, because let’s face it if you are going to be unhappy it must be better to be unhappy and rich rather than unhappy and poor. But perhaps there is a point when the pursuit of success has a diminishing effect on happiness.

Type in the word “success” on Amazon and there are almost 59,000 books claiming to provide the answer and yet only a tad short of 12,000 on the illusive “happiness”. Depression is on the increase, not only amongst children but also in adults. I also checked the Happy Planet Index and as a country we are not doing too well, overall ranked 21 out of 30 European countries. It appears that contentment is hard to come by.

The report “A Good Childhood” commissioned by the Children’s Society states that the aggressive pursuit of personal success by adults is now the greatest threat to British children.

Is this more scaremongering about twenty first century lifestyle or a serious reflection on children’s perceptions of a future filled with anxiety and distrust, where those closest to them are too preoccupied with their own work life balance to notice that these children have grown up, left home and the opportunity to spend time with them has passed?

Personal fulfilment is important, as is fulfilment of commitments to family and friends; you never know it could even lead to happiness.

Poll xx

PS Don’t forget that life is a journey but you don't want to get to the destination too quickly without stopping to admire some of the views along the way.