Happiness or wealthiness?

Happiness or wealthiness?

IT is that time again when it is customary to wish everyone a Happy New Year! The operational word is, of course, “Happy”!

But it may not be so for this year, if what have been forecast for 2009 is to be believed. Many pundits have predicted that the worst is in store with unemployment on the rise as more companies fold up. The stock market is predicted to be on the decline with extreme volatility.

Recession and depression have not been completely ruled out. Bailouts, even nationalisations, will continue, and the global confidence in the US currency will stay low.

More will be facing severe hardships for the first time in their lives. The US is essentially bankrupt and running on borrowed money and borrowed time, according to one authoritative opinion.

So what is so “happy” about the new year? Nothing, if the challenges for 2009 are not recognised and acted upon. Some may say it is impossible judging by the number of suicides reported as the result of the 2008 economic downturn.

It will become almost intractable as long as “happiness” is understood only as a function of economics and material wealth creation.

Unless this is decoupled, the wishes for this year are a mere hollow verbalisation — an empty wish!

Fortunately, this is not necessarily the case. Some studies did show that wealthy people are no happier than poor people. At times, the latter are even happier despite not having enough.

To read more of this happiness story – click here