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Is Happiness a conservative, status-quo concept?

"Money can't buy happiness". Many of us think this statement is more or less true. But what are the broader implications of this statement? After all, if "the pursuit of happiness" is delayed by acquiring wealth, than why should the government be promoting initiatives to raise the economic tide through assistance to business OR welfare policies? In other words, is the pursuit of Happiness a fundamentally conservative, status-quo idea? An interesting article on this subject is posted below - but what do you think?
http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13233/

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    Jan 14 2013: G'day Daniel

    We are lead to believe that we can only find happiness through consumerist materialism which keeps the big boys happy to some extent. The trick is we are made to feel unhappy & discontent as well at time because then we buy something to make us happy again, it’s a multinational nightmare we live in.

    Happiness certainly exists but not through consumerist materialism but through acceptance of one’s lot in life without conflict & once we have no conflicts left to wallow in we automatically become happy. You see it’s the never ending conflicts that we are subjected to in life that make us unhappy.

    Love
    Mathew
    • Jan 14 2013: and that is EXACTLY why happiness, as you have defined it (accepting one's Lot in life), supports the status quo. Because if happiness means nothing more than "accepting your lot in life", than what does that mean for the poor or disadvantaged? It means they should be quiet and peaceful and adjust to the status quo instead of being selfish and pushing for more. It is a definition of happiness which JUSTIFIES doing nothing.

      Another model of happiness - that happiness should incorporate certain material standards of living, such as decent food, shelter, etc - would be quite revolutionary, because it implies that a government or society which doesn't guarantee these things to their population is actively preventing their happiness. But the definition of happiness being peddled today seems to justify non-action to help the less fortunate, because the less fortunate are, under this definition, actually MORE fortunate. Sick logic, but there you have it.
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        Jan 14 2013: G'day Daniel



        Yes deffinently.......Acceptance means being accepting of consumerist materism as well however when one becomes accepting of one's lot in life it doesn't mean you can't change your way of life it just means your less conflictive & happier with your enviroment.



        If you are born into circomstances that won't allow yourself to become wealthy trying to have what you can't have will make one's life a misery but accepting your way of life will make you happier & through this happiness it is much eaiser to change one's life than being in conflict with your life. Trying to change one's life through conflict has made the world what it is today!!!



        I was on a spiritual forum discussing conflicts & found out that most spiritually aware people were at conflict with one thing or another like the ego,consumerist materialsm, judgment & even certain negative words & so on, they weren't at peace or very spiritual at all because they were conflictive with one or more things in their lives, they just weren't very accepting.

        What this is saying is be more accepting & less conflictive & through this newly found happiness one can change one's circomsatnces a lot better than through conflict.

        Love
        Mathew
    • Cos Mo

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      Jan 16 2013: Hey Mathew,

      Although I can see the reason in what you are saying, our track record as a race tends to argue for the contrary. We strive for more, in a pursuit of what may or may not be happiness. Accepting one's lot in life, while definitely possible for isolated individuals, and very likely apt to bring inner peace, wisdom, and a higher form of happiness to them, is not the way we are built, not in our nature as a race. Our continuous struggle for more, and more, and yet more, is what got us out of the caverns, it's what made us smarter, faster, stronger, better organized, and eventually it's what got people like Daniel, you and me writing to one another in some sort of intellectual and educational pursuit. Sure, it has its great downsides, but the item in discussion is our nature, not its effects on the world.

      It's the struggle for the promised happiness (albeit just projected) of a better status that makes us abandon the previous one, I believe. And I think that it is our nature to "run out" of a particular state of happiness and strive for the next, leaving the status quo behind. This can be the source of both great joy and great misery, and my feeling is that misery is more often than joy, but still this does not stop us (as humans) from striving for more.

      We ARE a very dubious creation, this much I can say :)
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        Jan 17 2013: G’day Cos Mo

        Your right of course, for us to evolve we just can’t sit there & accept our circumstances the way they are & do nothing, however the concept of acceptance is about accepting our present condition in life before we improve it instead of trying to change it through non-acceptance which is conflictive. We have mostly changed through conflicts as most of our advancements for starters have arisen from necessity because of conflicts. What I am saying is how about accepting our circumstances for once without being in conflict with them & then change them more peacefully, at least this way were not taking any leftover portion of these conflicts into the change & messing them up as well.

        Love
        Mathew
        • Cos Mo

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          Jan 17 2013: Hi Mathew,

          What you are saying makes perfect sense to me, and seems correct from a philosophical or spiritual point of view; but I am not at all sure you (or us, since I agree) are right from a social and evolutionary perspective. Studies have shown that people are more loss averse than they are risk driven, which in our context means they are more likely to attempt the preservation of a status quo they have come to accept, as you say, and be at peace with, then push forward to new heights and thus, in a way, evolve. I say in a way because evolution in itself does not necessarily mean being able to shop all Sunday long at the mall, yet the mall is a result of evolution.

          I believe that your pattern is at this time only available to the masses via education, not via genetic inheritance, which is opposite, and pushes toward conflictive changes. However, I do believe, in an intuitive manner, that acceptance of a status before peacefully moving to the next is also apt to bring evolution, albeit a slower one, following a different pattern than the one we've seen in the human societies. And yes, perhaps a safer one too.

          Still, I do not believe we are up to the task at this point in our evolution and structure. I believe that at macro levels, it's either conflictive evolution or status quo, since at this point, it seems to me that the only way to give up the status quo willingly is by need - generated by conflict and in turn generating conflict.

          Best,
          Cosmo

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