Economic Growth

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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 5/10/2009 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   

A little something I'd like to share. Today I read in the newspaper an article about economic growth. It shared a point of view that I have towards that subject, only the author had done some research, and came up with interesting graphs. We tend to measure the success of a country in terms of GNP. But is that the most important thing? I believe not. I believe happiness is more important, and money is in some degree contributing, as it allows you to stop worrying about food and a roof to sleep under. But the graphs clearly showed that at a certain point, more money doesn't equal more happiness. It stops there. For instance, the inhabitants of Columbia (country) are earning something like a tenth of those living in the US on average, but are happier.

Will that new car make us more happy? Or can we better use that money to get as many people as we can on that turning point on the graph, while taking care for nature and animals as well. Maybe the way to lift our happiness isn't found in more wealth, but in the ability to help others.

Something to think about, I believe :-).

Take care, and thanks for letting me share this!


P.S: Here is a link to the Dutch article, unfortunately the graphs aren't there, maybe I will make a scan of the paper sometime.
Acceptance is the key

The World is but a reflection. Smile, and it will smile back.

Try to keep smiling! :)

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40402
   Posted 5/10/2009 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Erik,

I feel much happier when I help somebody or something than I do when I buy myself something. I see where you are coming from and I agree with you. There needs to be more focus on gettng rich than there is on helping others, or nature. That is how selfish the world is. Not all people, but enough.

I can see where people in columbia would be happier than people in the US. People here are never satisfied. They always want more. And the more that they get, the more that they want.

I myself, have always kept my wants simple and my expectations down. That way when something good happens I really, really appreciate it.

I can see that you are coming to a point in your life where you are learning what a human being is suppose to be all about. It is a hard road, because you do see a lot of unnecessary suffering in this world. Just keep your hear pure, like you are. And have compassion, as you do. Do as much good as you can. And let the rest fall into place.

You are a good person Erik.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/10/2009 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Erik,

Great article and I am glad you shared it with us.

This is not a new theory for me as I learned a long time ago that it is not material wealth that counts.  The pursuit of material wealth does not bring happiness.

Thank you, Erik, for reminding us.




Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Co-Moderator Depression
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
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Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Post Edited (stkitt) : 5/11/2009 6:12:54 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 5/10/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   

No, this isn't something new at all. I guess we all have heard of it, and most of the people I speak to agree, but why aren't we acting like it than? We agree that material possessions won't make us any more happy, yet we continue to consume. Maybe I am missing something, but it seems to me that when you think of it, the choice would be clear.

But I wonder, since we are still doing things the way we do them, why is that? Is it in our DNA that we try to acquire as much stuff as possible (at least for men), to show we are a good match? Is buying a new car or helping 60 kids to school for that money something that we are unaware of, or will we keep on doing that once we know? I mean, if happiness is the most important thing around, you would bring a lot more of it into this world by helping other rather than helping yourself. Helping others is in fact helping yourself. Or so I like to believe. I don't know whether it is true what I say, and I never will.

But maybe people are unaware and we can help to to become aware. Maybe we are unaware and they can help us to become aware. Seems like a good thing to find out.

Acceptance is the key

The World is but a reflection. Smile, and it will smile back.

Try to keep smiling! :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 5/11/2009 6:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Erik,

I agree with helping others, we also help ourselves. I also agree that as long as we have enough to sustain ourselves, the so-called "luxuries" in life will not bring us true happiness. I wonder sometimes if the need to consume is driven more by insecurity and a desire to 'fill the void' than anything else. I am fortunate to live in a very small, rural community, where most people don't have much in the way of expendable income, and therefore don't have that whole "keeping up with the Joneses" dilemma. That lifestyle fits well with my values. Good for you, bringing these issues to the forum.
"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 5/11/2009 7:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Erik, Thanks for bringing up such an important sibject. there is a lot of sick people on earth who would do anything just to get what they want, only to find they want some else, something more because they are lost, they are addicted to wanting more, this is something that needs to be cured. happy people are ususally the kind of people who are content and thankfull for what they already have. this reminds me of the movie "Jersy girl" you should watch it, it's about a guy who looses his high paying job, his wife and has to move to the country and feels humilated, but later he discovers that... well I'll stop here so I don't ruin the movie for you :P
Former Addict of Online Video Games ( MMORPGs ) , Sober since April 6th 2008
Diagnosed with Major Depression since 2002

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