What is happiness and can it be achieved? This age-old question has plagued humanity since we first bore consciousness. Is happiness a perpetual state that can be achieved and kept for a long time or is it a conjunction of separate moments that are fleeting but important. If it is the former then one must say that to achieve this state, the best way would be to become successful. If one has money and fame, one must truly be happy right? When people achieve fame and money, they tend to gravitate towards the city, where all the prestige and money circulates within a concrete jungle. Then you ask yourself, why is it that so many people become miserable on their way working towards all this money and fame, getting closer each day to that golden concrete jungle?
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Money can buy you a house and stability and a great trip. But can it buy you a family and a night around a campfire in front of a wooden family house where you have made all your memories since being born and can money buy you happiness?
According to Maanhvi Singh nothing that is material on this earth can possibly compare with an experience one shares with another person. When one is walking down the street alone, you may look at the trees and see a stray dog and all these things will bring you joy, but more likely than not, stumbling upon a good friend on this daily commute and initiating a joyful conversation as you walk along the pavement is much more likely to become a cherished memory for the rest of your life, than if you simply swam in your own thoughts. I believe this is the single key to finding the joy in other people. You will not remember your parents for being the ones who bought you your phone, your cool shoes, or a number of a few other things that eventually fade with time. You remember them as those heroes who carried you throughout your childhood. As the people you drank your first beer with and the only ones who were there for you when you had your first heartbreak, those are your parents, not the people who bought you whatever you asked for and worked all the time or spent more time with each other than with you. Waiting for that iPhone in a line with your parents will forever be more special than having them give it to you wrapped in a box.
Joy greatly captures the small things in life that bring us happiness. The little trinkets we have in our room representing a memory. The colors that radiate and splash against us when we wear and see them in nature and art. The music coming out of our headphones. The small things are what truly keep us alive. They remind us how little we are and how the little things make up our world. In ways this poem is reminiscent of how one is when one is a child. Experiencing everything little by little, in a perpetual state of amazement.
The industrial life that has been given to us was a mistake. These papers have concluded one thing. Control of our lives, connecting with nature, and living closely among people are all things that equate happiness no matter what type of person. As said in the Kaplans research. Only teenagers preferred the city pictures over the nature ones, but even then, they grew out of it. This comes to show how the media shifted our essential way of life and led us to live one that ultimately does not make us happy. The industrialized man is all of the things above that have been proven to not make people very happy. The consumerism, the expensive trips, and the working lifestyle have all proven to be more negative in the long run. When a person learns to live life off shared experiences with nature and away from the Hollywood lifestyle implemented by the wealthy and controlling owners to keep people working for them, one will learn to truly be happy. The farming, pastoral family lifestyle that has kept humans alive for thousands and thousands of years, is what is truly in our biology, and the key to happiness.
These three papers have shown that money in no way is able to buy long term happiness and fulfillment. The natural and family, people led life is what will bring us happiness when we look back at all the experiences we lived and who we shared them with.