This conversation is closed.

The ego creates suffering? Does suppression of the ego lead to " sustainable happiness?"Is love the suppression of ego?What does charity do?

If everyone worked together or independently to help people around them attain happiness, “sustainable happiness” could be afforded to everyone.Finding one’s calling in life is a hard one, especially because the odds are stacked up against you.There are always obligations, expectations, indoctrinations, reputations, and other things that just get in the way.Find your calling and all these things will suddenly fall on the back burner.Sure, the call of these memes will not disappear but they will not fight for control of your life, and hijack your happiness.Life, education, parenting, learning should be geared to finding what makes you who you are; rather than, taking who you are and finding how to be geared.The world needs a paradigm shift.It needs a shift from competition, status, and money to isolating and developing talents.Everyone has a talent or talents; and we have to learn how to bring those out.Allow that talent to flourish, remove the obstacles, remove the constraints of modern life and we have happiness.What if we took “the make a wish foundation” idea and took another step, maybe even a few extra steps than that, and started granting the wishes of the masses?We can make a doctor, a cancer researcher, a pro skate boarder, a dancer, a teacher, a microbiologist or, let a man run with the bulls, finance a lifesaving surgery.When the human mind is involved anything could be possible, anything could be conceived, and anything could be achieved. Let’s start granting wishes, answering prayers, make dreams a reality.Why not play God?When we start caring about each other, there is no limit that can stop us from doing great things; there is nothing that can stop 7 billion minds from reaching happiness.Let’s make happiness: sustainable, affordable, and ordinary.Happiness should not be for the few, misery should be.We can give more than just money or a check.We can give support, help, or any other service to make these dreams possible. Let’s make some happiness.

  • thumb

    W. Ying

    • +1
    Aug 18 2012: I think the 4 questions are easy to answer:

    (1) Symbiosis is one of the important instincts (ancestors' successful experiences saved in DNA) for survival.
    (2) Too much ego hurts the symbiosis owing to reducing helping others as well as being helped by others.
    (3) Suppressing ego increases the being helped by others, and thus makes the helped happy sustainably.
    (4) Loving symbiotic members is decreased with the increasing in ego.
    (5) Charity is an action of symbiosis.

    Am I right?

    ("Be Happy Validly!" p. 68, 82)
  • Teja Jo

    • +1
    Jul 31 2012: My passion is to innovate. My passion is to think like no other. My passion is to be a little less selfish. My passion is .....YOU can finish the rest of that sentence.
  • Teja Jo

    • +1
    Jul 31 2012: In my essay , I mentioned that there is no one way to happiness, nor is it the same for everyone. And I am one the same page as you on the fact that too much of anything is not a good thing. I know from experience. Maybe I didn't convey my message well enough. There's a reason why I called it sustainable happiness. I don't believe in utopia. I don't want a utopia. There's a reason why I tagged Buddhism in this conversation. The middle way makes sense to me. I try not stick to any idea , with too much conviction. Most of the time, I try to challenge what ever seems true. Where there is doubt; there is possibility. Where there is possibility, there is an open mind. So why is my concept called sustainable happiness? It because I feel that people will begin to make peace with themselves when they fiind what they are so good at, and makes them happy to do it. It is not always evident, what that talent is or where it will take you. Just because one found his or her talent, does not mean that they will not feel sadness or anger, or any other emotion. But, they will began to understand how to cope with it , without hurting themselves or others in pursuit of something else. I am not always a happy person. But, I know what makes me happy, what is passion. My passion to help others find others passions. And my idea is, if one another came together to help find the other's passions ; to support one another, when no one else will. When we stop thinking about the I, and the we, or he, or she , or they; I think any thing is possible. In turn , a man could find his sustainable happiness, by helping to find the sustainable happiness of another. Its a volunteer effort, just like the make a wish foundation. They make dreams come true for the sick and dieing. Why can't we make dreams come true for the healthy, and sick; the weak and the strong; the poor and the rick; the selfish and the selfless; the sad and the angry; the minority and the majority. The list goes on.
    • thumb
      Aug 2 2012: It's remarkable your point of view. Indeed, you absolutely have the reason. When you give to others the chance to be happy, you get some (important) amount of happiness, becoming this a "virtuous circle" which could lead to much people to a placid and peaceful lifestyle. Volunteering is a great example of this. Anyway, these little efforts are not "happiness" by themselves, because when a volunteer do her great job doesn't mean she is 100% and always happy. But volunteering is the perfect example of what you defined as "sustainable happiness", which takes us up and up each and every day to a high-quality life. If you mean that "sustainable happiness" has something to do with "making dreams come true", I think this is a valid definition of this concept, and even its definition gives us a method to attain it. When people realize that they have a "reason for living", they can go on. The problem here is how long this "reason for living" can endure. You remark another keyword in saying something about this problem: PASSION. Again, it seems that we are returning to the flat reality: People misunderstand the word "passion", and even when this is not the case, people are not always ready for enduring on their purposes. This way, we show that not everyone could attain a "sustainable happiness". The keyword here is: WILLPOWER. I think that all these questions reduce to a simple fact: If you have to teach someone to be "sustainable happy", you must help her to build her own WILLPOWER. If this word doesn't exist inside a person's dictionary, we can claim that she will not even meet "sustainable happiness". Don't you agree with me?
  • thumb
    Jul 30 2012: I'm not sure if we can achieve 100% global happiness, as much as I'd want that...

    But here's what I think are a few ways to change that:

    1) Better education system
    Education first and foremost needs to inspire curiosity. And to do that it could use better curricula.
    I still don't get why we still try to learn basic government in the end of high school? Why not teach government in middle school and have a new course on Current Events? Most kids coming out of high school have no clue what they really want to do. College should not be remedial high school.
    Also, we should just burn all textbooks to the ground, every last one of them. Textbooks are the most useless, bs piece of crap, known to existence. They're not only like like $500, but they don't teach for god's sake! People are spending $500 on something that doesn't work! You can spend all that textbook money to buy tablets or iPads instead and it'll get the job done MUCH better. I'll say it again, I HATE textbooks.

    2) Better parenting
    Neglect is the worst thing a parent can do. Parents need to care about their kids and they need to show them the kind of compassion any child should get. That's their most important job imo, is to raise them with good morals of caring-ness.

    3) More exposure
    Get the kids involved in a bunch of activities, no matter what it may be. Sports, computers, reading books, physics, boyscouts, etc. I already know they spend a lot of time with games and movies and stuff. I think most importantly, they need to make friends. If someone can at least have one friend, they won't be miserable. If you can get kids to also find their passions early, they won't spend as much time trying to decide what they want to do in life.
  • Aug 17 2012: No ego doesn't creates suffering.
  • thumb
    Aug 12 2012: Teja Jo,
    I do not think/feel it to be a good idea to suppress any part of our "self". The ego does not "create" suffering. It is how we choose to use the ego that determines what impact it has on us and the way we live out lives.

    You ask..."Does suppression of the ego lead to "sustainable happiness?...Is love the suppression of ego?"

    Not in my humble belief and experience! Suppression is suppression. Love does not suppress, in my opinion. Love accepts. When we can "know" ourselves and accept the different "parts" of our "self", we learn to use all "parts" in harmony and balance. Why do you think, as humans, we have all these different "parts"? So we can spend a lifetime trying to suppress them? That doesn't make any sense on any level.

    We are multi-sensory, multi-dimensional beings. The best thing we can do for ourselves AND the whole of humankind, is recognize and use effectively all of our capabilities. Do you know how much energy it takes to try to suppress something? Suppression is resistance to what is. What is the point in doing that to ourselves, or anyone else?

    I do not agree with your statement.... "Finding one’s calling in life is a hard one, especially because the odds are stacked up against you. There are always obligations, expectations, indoctrinations, reputations, and other things that just get in the way"

    These "things" you mention are all part of the life experience, and in my perception do not "get in the way"...they ARE the way. I have never had the feeling that "odds are stacked up against" me. Life, is life, and most of the time, the life experience includes challenges.

    I agree that we need a "paradigm shift", and part of that shift could include the idea that to "know thyself" is one of the most important ideas we can nurture.

    You say.."remove the constraints of modern life and we have happiness." The shift can include acceptance of the life experience and all it offers:>)
    • Aug 15 2012: To point number one. There is a phrase in french, le petite de morte. It means the little death, This refers to climax of love between two people. Isn't it interesting that they call it this? I believe that they explain it this way because in this action two separate individuals , lose that thing that says "I". There is a break down of what is "I" and what exists outside. Love is the destruction of ego, if only temporarily. When something is accepted into your mind, there is a blurring between the universe that lies within and the universe that lies without. Love removes the world between these two separate universes. And the line in between, is the ego. The ego suffers to keep itself alive. It must attend to the worries. Think of not "I" , but some one else and the result is happiness. In each good deed this happens, is but a few moments. In these moments we feel pleasure because empathy and action allowed the inner universe of different beings to merge but for a little while, in kindness. This is why " a purpose that is greater", a group, a religion, a team, a family that is together experiences the feeling of happiness, of pleasure. It is the happiness that arises out of expanding the mind. This is one of the main , consequences of meditation and the supposed feelings of serenity and peace; or should I say happiness?

      And at times people are born into this world, which circumstances that are stacked up against them. But, it possible to overcome them. Even wealth, and luxury can be obstacles to happiness. Happiness is not the same for everyone, but everyone has to find their path to happiness. This is the challenge of life. It is the happiness of pursuit, the pursuit of happiness.
    • Aug 15 2012: More so, the ego desires its own destruction as a part of its own nature to allow the separation between it and the outside world to become in separate. The ego craves and therefore it suffers. Each physical remedy is the result of this craving. Yet, nothing can satisfy the ego, so it only wants more. The ego is so accepting because it is searching for that connection between the inner world that it resides and the outside world it desires to be apart of. The paradox is that only in moments when one works to satisfy the needs of someone else or focus on the outside universe , rather than the inner one, do we satisfy our own craving.
      • thumb
        Aug 15 2012: Dear Teja Jo,
        It sounds like you are trying to give the ego a LOT of power and make it a seperate entity outside the whole of "us". The ego is part of us, and we have the ability to give the ego our attention and energy.....or not. The ego does not "desire"....the ego does not have a "nature" of its own...the ego does not "crave" or "suffer". The ego can indeed be satisfied when we find peace, harmony and balance within ourselves, which projects out into the whole of humankind. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of speculation regarding what the ego is, or is not, and it causes people to misunderstand.

        With all of your very long comments on this thread, it appears that you are trying to lecture, rather than have a discussion.
  • Aug 3 2012: This Juxtaposition between self and self image is a construct of a person's environment. People are programmed with memes such as " I am not pretty enough" or " perfection is the goal of my life." These compete for the interests of a person. Society, environment, parenting : i.e. nurturing creates the self image of a person. A person can shatter a false self image by realizing the memes that rule his or her life. The reason why we are so easily programmed by deceptive memes is that we want the acceptance of others. It is a basic human need, to be cared about. Is a need of the ego. So we accept these deceptive memes , consciously or unconsciously, get subverted from our true passions and models of reality. When people help one another they receive a rush of positive emotion in the very same part of the brain that deals with drug addiction. In turn, all humans want connection with others. And the value of that connection defines a self image. If the value of that connection is powerful and positive, the needs of the ego will be fulfilled. Therefore, the only way to satisfy the ego is by destruction of the ego. People know this and so they get this powerful feeling when praying with people, being at a concert, a sporting event, a party , a fraternity, a club, charity or any other ego minimizing event. Love is where two individual people, two "I"s ,become a "we". It is the destruction of ego to satisfy the ego. That is why we strive for a cause, a religion, a purpose. We need something that diminishes the importance of self, and this creates happiness.
  • Aug 2 2012: First we must define and understand the definition of ego. It comes from the Greek meaning self. Freud made it a household word. In using the word he never distinguished the difference between self and self image. He was probably so wrapped up in his own self image that, like a fish in water, the idea of discussing water (self image) never came up.

    Self image is the mental concept one has of oneself. It is the mentally generated imagination of who we think we are. It is not who we are it is a concept of who we are.

    Few persons have made the distinction between self and self image. We tend to go on adjusting the self image as reality shatters it and we attempt to put it back together. Psychology attempts to build a functional self image for a client. One which will not be violated too easily.

    When the self image falls apart the uncomfortable feeling held in the body/mind of the self surfaces and this can bee very painful. These uncomfortable feeling held in who we actually are, at the extreme, I call self loathing or self hatred. Thus when the self image is significantly violated the self hatred may come into consciousness creating depression or violence.

    True self in my definition is composed of the mind conscious of feelings balanced in the heart of a physical body. At this point the concept of true self as opposed to the mentally imagined self is evolving in its meaning for humans. Every individual must take responsible for defining self as they see it. Ones defining of self is essential for the process of finding self acceptance for all of who one is.

    Ego (self) does not create suffering. It is the shattering of the self image which is so painful because we feel the self loathing hidden beneath it. We suffer because we attempt to avoid the pain of self loathing held with in the true self. Once one faces into that pain the suffering stops and one begins to process the pain into self acceptance.

    Suffering results from the attempt to avoid pain.
  • thumb
    Jul 31 2012: Maybe was Steve Jobs who said something like "...people don't know what they want. You have to create things and show them, so generating a need that they even did not know yet. Then, they realize that these things are so important that they say «how could we have lived for years without these amazing creations?»". Do you think people are ready to be happy? Even under the assumption that they understand "happiness" as you do (a fine concept), they ignore what is the real meaning of "happiness". Don't you agree that a lot of misery is too much for a human being? Why a lot of happiness has to be "good" for a mean, sane human being? The keyword is MONOTONY. Don't you think there is a chance that too much happiness could lead to a certain kind of a wretched life? What is "good" for you may be "conditionally bad" for others. Consider the following example: When I was 13, I was wishing to become an airplane pilot. But now, I hate to travel by plane. For some reasons, I changed my professional vision when I began to study at university. Now, I consider I am happy for having chosen the career I belong to. Clearly, when I was 13 I had no idea of what could lead me to a "happy" state of living. Even today, I have not a clear idea of what to do for keeping my "happy" lifestyle, because I'm tired of that MONOTONY which I have told earlier. For some reasons I cannot fully understand, I'm still making some things wrong in my life, so the natural consequence is that it's likely that I will not be as happy as I would want, say in one year. Anyway, I'm aware of the existence of one clue: Happiness is everything but what you intentionally are looking for. "Sustainable happiness"? It's a good intention, a romantic dream, but there are even biological constraints which do not let us be as happy as we would want: Hormones, stress, concerns, nutrition styles. These just give us a margin to be cheerful, at most. But "happiness" is a good moral trend which shows us the fair way of living.
  • Jul 31 2012: I can't even ensure the daily happiness of everyone in my house let alone the planet. Most nights at dinner, there is at least one of us who goes along for the ride for the benefit of the others. As a dad it's usually me :)
  • Jul 31 2012: These following comments are the very basic nature of my idea. So if you're willing to read it all, I must profoundly thank you .
  • Jul 31 2012: If I’m going to be a leader, what is going be my cause? Is it easy to say this or that is the most important thing in my life? Well, let’s explore this. How about I start by listing things, which I feel are problems. Okay here I go: Bullying, overeating, under eating, health, the idea of beauty, polarization, malnutrition, violence, war, clean water, melting ice caps, global warming, trophy hunting, poaching, endangered species, using oil and other fossil fuels, gangs, closed minds, intolerance, equal rights for everyone, greed, the divorce rate, pollution of all types, the over use of fertilizers and pesticides, murder, rape, theft, superficiality, just getting by through life, the unexamined life, lack of a good education, disconnection with the planet, lack of curiosity , alcoholism, drug addiction, over taxing resources, infectious and chronic diseases, underpay and workers’ rights, smoking cigarettes, abusing prescription medications, TYRANY, advocacy for birth control, treating problems rather than dealing with the symptoms, access to opposing ideas, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, lack of happiness, over use of medications, access to college and post college education, spousal and child abuse, and probably a lot more.
  • Jul 31 2012: So which am I going to chose? Which one of these calamities deserves my valuable attention? Or which group of them? It’s very hard to choose. And I want to cause more than just awareness or the spread of the idea; I want to cause a change of ideas, of ways, of thinking, of life itself.
    Okay let’s look for a common denominator, something that all of these problems have in common. Some of these problems are natural and already have solutions. But, these solutions need further improvement to stamp the problem out altogether. And some natural and man-made problems coincide. Okay let us look at man-made problems; what do they have in common? As a human, I will make the assumption that all human beings want to be happy. What makes people happy can differ. All attempts of things are done in some way to satisfy happiness: either short term or long term. In the quest of happiness, most people will sacrifice anything to receive it. There are two types of pitfalls. The first approach creates temporary happiness. Because the happiness is temporary, the actions are repeated to recreate the feeling. Soon people may sacrifice anything to attain that temporary happiness. This can lead to problems. The second pitfall comes from the pursuit of promised happiness: for example the idea of pursuing money to attain absolute happiness. Two things may occur while this approach is undertaken; temporary happiness may be suspended for the perceived long term happiness, or people may sacrifice anything to attain the happiness sometime in the future.
  • Jul 31 2012: So if the pursuit of happiness determines our behavior directly or indirectly, it also produces the man-made problems that people have. If this is the case, how can people be guaranteed happiness without negative or harmful sacrifice? I think my cause will be to find ways to make people “sustainably happy”.
    One of the biggest problems that people have when pursuing happiness is that they are not completely aware of what exactly produces sustainable and healthy happiness for them in the present and future. Sometimes people follow the other people around them because they may think other people are happier than the viewer. It could be a false deduction. Finding what makes you happy is a hard challenge. It is the challenge of life.
    So how could I or anyone else guarantee that an entire planet achieves their respective happiness; that everyone achieves “sustainable happiness” ? In one’s own self-interest in happiness, it might make sense to ensure the happiness of the people around them. If the people around one are happy, it might be easier to pursue your own happiness. They may even return the favor, and help you attain your own personal happiness.
  • Jul 31 2012: What if everyone on the planet worked to ensure everyone else’s happiness? Doesn’t it become an exponential cascade of happiness achievement? What is stopping happiness from being infectious?
    Well, let’s continue with what some people believe are the avenues of happiness: money, sex, power, food, water, drugs, alcohol, violence, weapons, intimidation, respect, volunteering, pursuing your interest.
    Some of these avenues are cyclic; pursing happiness through the method produces temporary happiness and causes the person to pursue the same avenue to regain the happiness that he knew earlier. Because of the temporary production of happiness through these means, one can become addicted to them. One may form compulsions, and crave more and more to sustain longer amounts of happiness. The problem with these cyclic approaches is that the participant gets stuck in performing the same behavior without noticeable change; perhaps the definition of insanity? To receive this temporary happiness, people stuck in the cycle will sometimes do anything. This is can override feelings of empathy, sympathy, friendship, love, and other emotions that connection people together. The pursuit of temporary happiness can create a suppression of emotion to receive the happiness that they crave so much. When one can no longer relate, they can commit evil. Life can become only about pursuing that very short burst of happiness. Interest, open mindness, love, selflessness are quickly forgotten.
  • Jul 31 2012: Interest may be the path to lead the masses to their happiness. Suppression or ignorance of an interest leads to temporary happiness. Therefore, lack of interest will inevitably lead to the cycle of temporary happiness. When a person denies her interests, she is denying the world of her mind. Each mind is incredible, and the world missing one mind is a world that is worse off.
    So how do we let everyone pursue their interests? How can we manage to make everyone happy? Okay we must first ensure the very basic things to human survival. A person needs food, preferably good food, and clean water. Two, a person needs a shelter from the elements. Three, people to care about this person. Four, a person must be able to be educated in whatever interests him. Five, this person needs a place and tools to practice his interest. Therefore, the needs of a person’s mind will be satisfied.
    In the world we currently live in, people are usually left to their own devices, and must struggle if they want any of these steps. Therefore, when everyone is struggling for their own piece of happiness; some fall to the pitfalls of temporary happiness or get stuck in a life that they never wanted. There needs to be a paradigm shift away from the pursuit of your own happiness to the pursuit of your neighbor’s happiness, to your community’s happiness, to your town’s happiness, to your city’s happiness, to your states’ happiness, to your country’s happiness, to your continent’s happiness, to your hemisphere’s happiness, to your planet’s happiness.
  • Jul 31 2012: If everyone worked together or independently to help people around them attain happiness, “sustainable happiness” could be afforded to everyone.
    Well what advantages and disadvantages are people born with or cast into? What do people site as problems? They say: I don’t have enough money, I am not good looking enough, I am not listened to enough, I don’t have sex enough, I don’t get enough food, I don’t have enough friends, not enough people love me, there are things that I can’t get. Sometimes the problems that we think are problems aren’t problems at all. They are perceived problems. And therefore, we spend our time and our lives trying to solve a problem that does not even exist. Or when we solve the problem, we see that we’re still not happy.
    Sustainable happiness could only be attained through discovery of what interests, of what makes you feel good. And, it should make you feel even better, each time you work on your interest. Everyone must find their calling. It does not matter what it is, as long as it makes you happy. So what interests you? Would you pursue it if you received the help you needed to pursue it? If you received help from people would you return the favor and make their dreams come true?
    Finding one’s calling in life is a hard one, especially because the odds are stacked up against you. There are always obligations, expectations, indoctrinations, reputations, and other things that just get in the way. Find your calling and all these things will suddenly fall on the back burner. Sure, the call of these memes will not disappear but they will not fight for control of your life, and hijack your happiness.
  • Jul 31 2012: Life, education, parenting, learning should be geared to finding what makes you who you are; rather than, taking who you are and finding how to be geared. The world needs a paradigm shift. It needs a shift from competition, status, and money to isolating and developing talents. Everyone has a talent or talents; and we have to learn how to bring those out. Allow that talent to flourish, remove the obstacles, remove the constraints of modern life and we have happiness.
    Now how do we do all of this? How do we do this right now? Changing the education system will take years and years. Adults are already programmed with the structure of the modern world and the cookie cutter approach. How will we take unhappy people and turn them on to the path to follow their interests? How about we make these people known, and their interest shared? What if we all worked together to make the dreams of people a reality?
    What if we took “the make a wish foundation” idea and took another step, maybe even a few extra steps than that, and started granting the wishes of the masses? We can make a doctor, a fireman, a cancer researcher, a pro skate boarder, a dancer, a teacher, a microbiologist, a police man, a fire fighter. Or let a man run with the bulls, to be an astronaut, be a cowboy, be a pilot, get a cat, meet Oprah, finance a lifesaving surgery. When the human mind is involved anything could be possible, anything could be conceived, and anything could be achieved. Let’s start granting wishes, answering prayers, make dreams a reality. Why not play God? When we start caring about each other, there is no limit that can stop us from doing great things; there is nothing that can stop 7 billion minds from reaching happiness. Let’s make happiness: sustainable, affordable, and ordinary. Happiness should not be for the few, misery should be. We can give more than just money or a check. We can give support, help, or any other service to make these dreams possible. Let’s make some happiness.
  • Jul 31 2012: This is a radical idea, for a radical world.Where we have small and nationwide crimes, illness, poverty, hunger, thirst, oppression, selfishness, terrorism, natural disasters, manmade disasters , and the list continues.If this is good enough for you, if you are happy, say nothing, do nothing, and accept the world for the way it is.Believe that there is no way for changing it, people will always be what they are, and nothing will ever change them.Think, history is bound to just repeat itself.
    Or take an uncertain leap.You don’t need faith in landing on your feet. But, what you need is hope. Give people hope, and they will quickly live up to their potential. Give them hope, and they will find their reason to live. Give them the hope of finding happiness in their short life times. Give yourself some hope. Hope that humanity can be better; hope that you can be better. What do you have to lose? You are afraid of being scammed of being a victim? Well, if you have enough money to: put food in your own fridge, pay your rent, and support your children. Why can’t you take a small gamble? Put some money into producing hope for happiness. You can produce hope in the lives you are taking a chance on, and the people that you love. You are investing in the happiness of your fellow human being, and your own happiness.
  • Jul 31 2012: Even if, Even if, your money doesn’t help what have you lost? In any investment, there is the possibility of creating hope or losing your money. But, in this specific case, you will win out in either outcome. If your donation does not work, you can still feel good about yourself. You will know that you are a good person in your mind, and in the eyes of the people around you. You are spreading hope, in your good deed. You are inspiring others. If this doesn’t do it for you, you can always post your story and your wish on to the site. People will work to make your wish come true. How could you lose?
    Oh yea, wishes would only be granted if they are the starting point for sustainable happiness. And let’s make it local. Start with your community, and if you’re interested you can help out the rest of the world. Have too many chances, too much competition for you and its information overload. Start where you want, but where ever you start make sure that you are affecting people’s lives.
    Now let’s start this website , this idea, lets start walking down these avenues to happiness. Come on, we got 7 billion minds on this planet. Let’s put them to good use.
  • Jul 31 2012: Hey everyone, all of you have valid points. But I have already addressed them to a degree in an essay that I wrote describing my idea. The problem with summarizing the idea on ted was that it is 8 pages long, double spaced. So I had to leave alot of my idea and reasoning. The 2000 characters is a huge limiting factor on how much I can explain myself. Is there any way that I can post my essay on a comment for this discussion?
  • thumb
    Jul 31 2012: The only way this would be possible is for everyone to accept the belief that their own happiness would increase the most when all others' happiness also increases. Selfishness and greed would have to take a back burner. The first requirement would be that all people have what they need to achieve basic happiness. This would mean that all people would have the right to healthcare, adequate food, water and shelter, and the liberty to follow their own free will while not negatively affecting another beings anywhere on the planet directly or indirectly while pursuing their own agendas. Everyone would have to contribute to society in some way and, conversely, no one would have power over others. I am not implying communism, but a market based system that ensures a balance of egalitarianism and liberty would have to be achieved. It would be my greatest wish that this could come true, but at this time, too many people feel entitled to pursue their own happiness without any regard to the down stream effects and consequences of their actions on others in the present and the future. How to accomplish this? Insist on the truth in politics to achieve a true democratic process in which all the people have equal power, and the power cannot be concentrated in the hands of the financially elite. This also implies an equal education system in which every student has access to the best teachers and learning environment enabling equal intellectual power within the society. Those schools with better funding would have to spread the wealth to all schools within the society, adjusting for cost variances between locations. (If funding doesn't matter, then those parents with students in highly funded schools should be willing to send their students across the border to the school where the teachers are all more inexperienced, there are fewer computers, the students receive less individual attention, there is poor lighting, heating and cooling, and the library has fewer books.)
  • thumb
    Jul 30 2012: Your question made me think of the Drew Dudley TED talk in which he described lollipop moments, which are something like the earlier "random acts of kindness." We have it within us and at no cost to make others lives brighter (by looking out for our opportunities to help and encourage) and also to choose how we view ourselves and our neighbors, to make ourselves happier with our own lives. Attitude is a big part of our perceptions and happiness. We can, for example, choose to dwell on the negatives or to focus on positives while still working on improving what isn't working.