See quote in msg 1 for more details.
''There are different kinds of stress...
Poverty and the threat of starvation is one kind of stress. Living in a county with few opportunities for economic advancement is a different kind of stress. We are indeed lucky that most of us don't live under such circumstancs. But, believe it or not, these kinds of stress are actully very low compared to the kinds of stress people are experiencing in the modern world. Living life in a hurry while stuck in L.A. traffic can produce much higher levels of stress, as measured by cortisol levels, than living in a rural village with no electricity, no grocery stores, and little opportunity to live a better life.
From Venus on Fire Mars on Ice by John Gray, Ph.D.
I definitely agree because I once had the pleasure of meeting the richest man on the island while I was with a very unhappy rich man.
Richest man on Island = shyly paddled up to me while I was sitting on the marlinboard enjoying the view in his dugout. In his dugout huge bumphead wrasse (im sorry fishy I was diving with you that morning!)..he smiled with a betel stained grin and proudly proclaimed himself richest man in village because he had a fish, his garden growing well and the fish would feed his family, his neighbour and his neighbours family.
Rich man - Post dive debreifs and check of stockmarket. Satellite calls to offices around world while on huge luxury launch in remote PNG.
Who really has got it right?
Thats happiness. Who are we to say they are living the same way they did 40,000 years ago so must need to listen to our values!!!
I would wholeheartedly have to agree and as I stated previously, I feel that the real riches are the experiences and knowledge we gain on our journey through life.
I feel that people in the west tend to willingly stress themselves out by wanting to obediently remain part of the rat race. Sadly, many individuals tend to strive for the shallow and vacuous things in life, all desperately wanting to own the same overpriced 'must have gadget' and worship certain Z-list 'celebrities' by religiously following their superficial and inane lives and exploits on Facebook or Twitter. They gladly settle into a life of Nimbyism while their entire life passes them by rather than getting up and doing something beneficial or constructive with it. Whatever happened to individualism?
Unfortunately, even here in the developing word, consumerism is starting to spread like a pernicious disease. The iSheeple want an iPhone in the deluded belief that it somehow makes them look cool. Vietnamese girls go as far as selling their virginity and others sell organs just so that they can have one.
The 'low stress life' that exists here in Vietnam is slowly disappearing as people begin to demand and expect more, stressing themselves out in the process. I think Western society as a whole has a lot to answer for!
+1. You only have to walk around a Mumbai slum (for example) to see it. Smiles everywhere, and not the kind people use to keep up appearances either!
I think the 'developed world' could learn a lot from the less-developed countries whose inhabitants (a generalization I know, but I think it works to an extent) place less stock in what they have, and more in who they are. Although as Nick pointed out, this is changing in some developing countries - due in part to travelers like us, I expect.
UN discusses Gross National Happiness indicator as successor to Gross Domestic Product
UNITED NATIONS — Should happiness figure in a nation’s bottom line? And should the concept of Gross National Product be replaced by Gross National Happiness?
There was a time when I would have dismissed this news article as not of interest, with the point of view that that government has no real responsibility where our happiness is concerned, because we can live our lives the way we want to and can change some things that make us unhappy.
But, I have realised in recent years, that while I dont think ''modern life is rubbish'', I do think it is unnecessarily complicated. While I am glad to be from a part of the world where there is the freedom and wealth to enable world travel for almost everybody, I do think a lot of misery is created in society, by not having simple to understand and benefit from legal systems, financial systems, tax systems... It is not so easy to figure out what causes stress in modern society, but I think the lack of control people feel they have over what affects their lives because of the complications of doing some things, might be partly at least the cause, and some attention should certainly be payed to Gross National Happieness. It might even have the side effect of reducing expensive things such as the heavy reliance on the national health system, by making people less prone to getting sick, and eliminating the need for so many to use anti depressants.