How much do you really need to be happy? 

If you could place a dollar value on your happiness – what would that equate to?

Why do we associate wealth and status with happiness and success?

I think back to my time in India, where the caste hierarchy dominate the country, where wealth for the majority is simply having enough to feed your family.  I remember the proudness  of the people, the pride in their houses, their clothes, their lives, yet my most vivid memory of all is of the wide smiles on their faces, contentment at their place in society and the passion in which they go about their daily lives.

Obviously these are bold generalising statements and while India has a huge population, and my encounters with a select few, I speak from what I have seen, and while my eyes still well up, reminiscing over the many tragedies I witnessed in India, my heart still melts at how people with so little can give so much, people with such huge obstacles can move giant mountains.

I hear so many parents  in Western societies complain of their lives, the long hours they work, the bonus not received, the home renovations that are not yet complete, the many things they wish to buy at the shops and most distressing is that they worry that their children would rather spend an intimate few hours or two with their play stations rather than play outdoors or talk to their parents. 

Again my mind wanders back to all the third world countries I have travelled in, where the children hug and chat to their parents, where family life really means togetherness, where people really appreciate every little thing they own and receive.  Where every precious resource is utilized and not wasted.

And I ask you which is the richer life?

  1. Hi everyone,

    It would appear that this story has raised a bit of controversy in the effort of protecting the identity of those who have raised concerns, I would like instead to offer some further insight into the story itself.
    Yesterday at work we were discussing India, after a recent documentary seen by a few of us. I couldn’t stop thinking about this and the fact that as I said in my blog I maintain a huge respect for the way in which they live their lives. Yes I do hear people complaining and yes (as I have mentioned in other blog stories – not this particular one) – I too are one of these ‘complainees’ – always wanting the latest of this or that – wishing I could do more to my house, wishing I had more free time. I am the very same person I complain about.

    The point of my story is to remind us all that we do lead wonderful lives, we are fortunate where we live, and to stop and ask ourselves why we are always feeling as though we need more.

    I don’t have kids, so I am the last person in the world to speculate on why people do the things they do, to judge anyone else, or to say that one way of parenting is better than another. I have the utmost respect for anyone who is a parent – it isn’t easy (from what I hear) I guess the world needs people of all types. If you and your children support worthy causes, have compassion, and install strong values into your kids then I think you have nothing to feel guilty about.

    It’s easier to forgot these things than to remember them, and we are all guilty of this.

    As a friend of mine just said: “ I think it’s OK for parents to complain about minor things, as long as they have lovely hearts and realise how lucky they are to live in Australia.”

    So in conclusion, while I do try to write truthfully from the heart, I do also try to ALWAYS write in a manner than is not offensive or hurtful in any way. If anyone who is reading this is thinking it is about them – please again let me assure you that this was directed at no one in particular at all.

    At the end of the day, as another miscellaneous friend said to me, I guess the point of blogs are to get people communicating – so please feel free to share your thoughts with me.

  2. Hi Louisa! Your blog is YOUR blog, so write what you feel. I certainly don’t see any need for you to explain yourself. Great post and I enjoy your updates. Keep writing from the heart! xo J.

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