Restore your happiness now

National Happiness

The world started measuring in terms of happiness indicators of individuals and nations. The happiness factors of an individual like me is a subset of that of a nation.

To understand it better let’s take a quick look at the happiness index factors for a nation –

  1. Psychological well-being (life satisfaction, emotional balance, spirituality)
  2. Health (self reported health status, healthy days, long term disability, mental health)

  3. Education (literacy, educational qualification, knowledge, values)

  4. Culture (language, artisan skills, socio-cultural participation)

  5. Time use (working hours, sleeping hours)

  6. Good governance (political participation, political freedom, service delivery, government performance)

  7. Community vitality (social support, community relationships, family, victim of crime)

  8. Ecological diversity and resilience

  9. Living standards (household income, assets, housing quality)

India has slipped from a global rank of 111 in 2013 to 117 in 2015 behind Pakistan and Bangladesh. This ranking is based on a study done in 158 countries globally.

Today there is serious need for individuals like me to think why we are becoming increasingly more unhappy in our lives than ever before while we continue to progress in economic areas.

If we look at Maslow’s Hierarchy theory we will notice that security, social well being, etc are considered as primary needs of any individual and none of us are different in those aspects. Maslow kept self-actualization needs at the highest end. But the question is, to be happy can we reach the highest state without caring about other lower states. May be some accomplished saadhus can do that but not common people like us. So in this aspect our social life and social support system becomes increasingly important for us as individuals to be happy. A nation of happy individuals will create a happy and prosperous nation.

Our society consists of our friends and well wishers who act as our support system and help us overcome all odds in life. In this context the gender of the friend ideally should not matter but in reality it is found that the gender of our friends matter a lot in our support system. With changing social dynamics and with influence of feminism the gender roles have evolved to a great extent and the acceptance of the other gender is reducing.

Let me illustrate this with a simple example. If you have a group of friends from both genders then in a group meeting, casually raise the point of punishing women for false cases like dowry, domestic violence or rape. Or ask your female friends to demand death penalty for the woman in the above video. Don’t be surprised if women vehemently protest the idea. Whereas in any reported rape case if you demand death penalty of the accused even before the trial is complete or may simply be on accusation you will be supported by all. In this exercise you may find how your own friends become your foes simply on gender difference.

I used to believe that we need friends from both genders until sometime back when I had undergone divorce. I have seen the same group of friends vanishing after my cases. That included both male and female friends. However, my wife didn’t lose any of her friends and her female friends continued their friendship with her. Some of our common friends who started ignoring me continued their friendship with her and still continue the same. The case is almost same with all other men who face similar situation. This in a way confirms that men can’t expect equal friendship from their women friends as friends are better recognized during the trying times and NOT during the happy times.

So today for me happiness is in living my dream and attaining self actualization needs rather than seeking social support for all actions. I started believing that one needs to search from happiness from within and not from others or outside materialistic world in order to be happy.

But not all are equally enlightened to understand this complex notion to become happy. So we have a great task ahead of us to make our nation happy. One way of achieving the same is to save our family system and ensure that we boost our social support system so that all those social parameters are taken care of. Another way is to implement a free and fair justice system that provide speedy justice to everyone irrespective of gender.

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5 comments

  1. Thank you, Partha:

    You mentioned in your article above, “Today there is serious need for individuals like me to think why we are becoming increasingly more unhappy in our lives than ever before while we continue to progress in economic areas.”

    Indeed, money cannot buy love or bring one closer to happiness. Joy is a gift that only our Creator can give, and He gives it to those with a pure heart and to those who walk in faith.

    Indeed, some of the most joyful people I have ever seen are amongst the most poor, while some of the most miserable live like kings. Material success and economic prosperity is here one day and gone the next, whereas the gift of joy is here to stay, because it is given by God and not something that is contrived by human hands or through human effort.

    Joy is a state of being…not a state of having. Happiness is knowing you are walking close to God and doing right by Him. Money is nothing more than fool’s gold, which is here one day and gone the next.

    It has been said that two of the greatest sources of dissatisfaction in life are (1) unrealistic expectations and, (2) unfulfilled expectations. For instance, even though economic prosperity may bring women into our lives and may even afford us a beautiful wife – it cannot buy us love or bring us happiness. Yet, many men (and virtually every woman on the planet) expect economic prosperity to do more for them than it actually can, and when they find out that it cannot deliver on its promises – they get downright depressed and lose heart.

    “If we look at Maslow’s Hierarchy theory we will notice that security, social well being, etc are considered as primary needs of any individual and none of us are different in those aspects. Maslow kept self actualization at the highest end. But the question is to be happy always can we reach the highest state without caring about other lower states. May be some accomplished great saadhus can do that but not common people like us. So in this aspect our social life and social support system becomes increasingly important for us as individuals to be happy. A nation of happy individuals will create a happy nation.”

    My friend, Maslow’s “Hierarchy of needs” is the opinion and observation of a fallible man who has the heart of a humanist. Maslow’s “Hierarchy of needs” may be endorsed by a hedonistic and fallen world, but it is not endorsed by heaven. I see only a shred of truth in his writing. The good book says that all we need is faith, food and clothing…and we should be content with these.

    Wanting and striving for more is to dance with the devil…for the love of Mammon Ra is the root of all evil. And, as you know, evil causes corruption and corruption causes pain, while pain leads to unhappiness and unhappiness leads to despair. India is becoming unhappy because it is feeling the ill effects of societal corruption. It is feeling more pain because it is dancing with the devil and straying from God. This is what has happened to my country and it will happen to your’s, too, if my friends in India continue down the same road America has already taken.

    Peace be with you.

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  2. Yes. We live with our friends and relatives in a nation and I believe that trust, loyality as well as understanding plays an important role in friendship rather than only talking about gender thing.

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    • So you think your female friends will support you the same way you have supported them? Loll you will know that when reality strikes you , then all these friends will vanish. It is the normal trend everywhere in India today. Till the time you are happy and do not experience the same stay happy..

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