Happiness And Prosperity Correctly

Happiness and Prosperity Correctly:

Happiness may be defined as being in harmony / synergy in the state / situation that I live in. “A state or situation in which I live, if there is harmony in it then I like to be in that state / situation. The state of liking is happiness.” Whereas, prosperity is the “feeling of having or making available more than required physical facilities”. In the current scenario, we are generally trying to achieve happiness and prosperity by maximizing accumulation and consumption of physical facilities. This is an attempt to achieve happiness through pleasant sensory interactions. The physical facilities are not seen in terms of fulfilling bodily needs but as a means of maximizing happiness. This has resulted in wrong assessment of wants for physical facilities as being unlimited. But this pursuit is self-defeating. Neither can we hope to achieve continuous happiness through sensory interactions nor can we have prosperity, as it amounts to trying to fulfil unlimited wants through limited resources. This effort is engendering problems at all the levels. It is becoming anti-ecological and anti-people, and threatening the human survival itself. Some of the consequences of such a trend are summarised below:

1. At the level of the individual – Rising problems of depression, psychological disorders, suicides, stress, insecurity, psycho-somatic diseases, loneliness etc.

2. At the level of the family – Breaking of joint families, mistrust, conflict between older and younger generations, insecurity in relationships, divorce, dowry tortures, family feuds, wasteful expenditure in family functions etc.

3. At the level of the Society – Growing incidences of terrorism and naxalism, rising communalism, spreading casteism, racial and ethnic struggle, wars between nations, attempts of genocide, fear of nuclear and genetic warfare, etc.

4. At the level of nature – Global warming, water, air, soil, noise, etc. pollution, resource depletion of minerals and mineral oils, sizeable deforestations, loss of fertility of soil. It therefore, calls for an urgent need for human beings to correctly understand happiness and prosperity as well as the sustainable way to achieve these.

Harmony is Happiness:

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure or joy. Happiness may be described as consisting of positive emotions and positive activities. In other words, freedom from want and distress, consciousness of the good order of things, assurance of one’s place in the
universe or society, inner peace and so forth. Happiness is the state of mind, where we feel good in most of the walk of life. One important characteristic of this is feeling is that we like to continue this feeling. Or in other words, “The state / situation in which I live, if there is harmony/ synergy in it, then I like to be in that state or situation.” i.e. “To be in a state of liking is happiness.” If we explore our life we will find that respect is a state of harmony between two human beings.
When I respect the other and the other respects me, I like to be in that situation. It gives me happiness. Take other example, when there is harmony in my thoughts and feelings, I feel relaxed and I want to be in that situation. This feeling is happiness.

Problems Humans Suffer:

Today we are generally trying to achieve happiness and prosperity by maximizing accumulation and consumption of physical facilities. This effort is giving rise to many problems manifest today at the level of individual, family, society and the nature. These problems are:

  • At the level of individual– Rising problems of depression, anxiety, suicides, stress, insecurity, increasing health problems, lack of confidence and conviction etc.
  • At the level of family– Breaking up of joint families, mistrust and disharmony in relationships, divorce, generation gap, dowry deaths, neglect of older people etc.
  • At the level of society– Growing incidences of terrorism, violence, communalism, racial and ethnic struggle, corruption, adulteration, sex-crimes exploitation, wars between nations, proliferation of lethal weapons etc.
  • At the level of nature– Global warming, weather imbalances, depletion of mineral and energy resources, deforestation, soil degradation etc.

All the problems are a direct outcome of an incorrect understanding, our wrong notion about happiness and prosperity and their continuity.

Guidelines for Value Education:

The subject that enables us to understand ‘what is valuable’ for human happiness is called value education. In order to qualify for any course on value education, the following guidelines for the content of the course are important:

  • Universal: It needs to be applicable to all the human beings irrespective of cast, creed, nationalities, religion, etc., for all times and regions.
  • Rational: It has to appeal to human reasoning. It has to be amenable to reasoning and not based on dogmas or blind beliefs.
  • Natural and verifiable: It has to be naturally acceptable to the human being who goes through the course and when we live on the basis of such values it leads to our happiness. It needs to be experientially verifiable, and not based on dogmas, beliefs or assumptions.
  • All encompassing: Value education is aimed at transforming our consciousness and living. Hence, it needs to cover all the dimensions (thought, behaviour, work and realization) and levels (individual, family, society, nature and existence) of human life and profession.
  • Leading to harmony: The value education ultimately is targeted to promote harmony within the individual, among human beings and with nature.