Birth and death are not simple. Wars are not simple. Sickness is not simple. Suffering solitude is not simple. Trying to find if God exists or not is not simple. Trying to enjoy life while knowing that you will die someday is not simple. Debating on these issues is an endless adventure. But wearing a particular type of clothes, eating a delicious dessert, stating your opinion about the weather or the family-in-law, should not be subjects of never-ending arguing. Unnecessary upsetting leads not only to emotional disturbance but also to a chaotic life.
I tried to recall one of my regular days in 2010 when I used to teach at three universities while taking care of my child, husband and house. I used to wake up at 4.30/5 in the morning and sleep at 11.30/12 at night. And I’m not counting the never-ending ‘nuits blanches’ spent while having health issues. This is the year I developed multiple allergies and was rushed many times to Emergency Rooms, not being able to breathe. Overlapping choirs, duties, responsibilities… An endless complex to-do list while experiencing the anguish of trying to make everything ‘perfect’.
Life is complex, but I am more and more convinced that we over-complicate it when we constantly introduce negativity in its process and when we focus on the ‘wants’ more than on the ‘needs’. What about when we decide we are so worthy of certain things in our life, and so many people have high demands on everything? What about spending too much money to make an impression on others?
“Studies of happiness and wealth repeatedly show that beyond a certain level of income or material prosperity, happiness levels do not continue to increase with increased levels of wealth. That is to say, once you have what you actually need (and maybe plus a little extra for security/retirement), you are set in terms of how your happiness level will be impacted. Other factors then become more central to your sense of happiness or fulfillment. Too often, in a materialistic society, people can become myopically preoccupied or even obsessed with achieving greater levels of wealth and/or amassing the trappings that wealth can provide. While it can feel good to earn a high salary, and while there is nothing morally wrong with doing so, to expect that a higher amount in your bank account will keep you fully satisfied emotionally is short-sighted”.
I think more people would be happy living a simple, yet comfortable life doing the right thing for themselves. And what about the answers to all the complicated questions about existence in itself? Well, there are multiple beliefs that bring us to some place of peace. Maybe we need to practice that peace and not create ugliness with others that leads to more drama and more complications. Maybe we need to have less “things” in our life. Maybe we need to fill our days only doing the most quality things we totally believe in and that are meaningful.
More is better, right? Well, not necessarily…
“Such impulses are useful when resources are scarce and we need to strive to survive. But there thankfully is a limit when it comes to meeting personal needs, and that is what we need to keep in mind when pursuing happiness in the modern world”.