The opportunities that the crisis gives us

Author: Vasco Gaspar

For years we have been fed with the notion that happiness is something that could be sought externally and could be “conquered” by the simple use of certain objects, toys or gadgets marketed by numerous agencies. While this has been happening, we have also become increasingly “disconnected” from the world around us, widening the gap between our family and ourselves, drifting away from friends and failing to do the activities that really give us true pleasure. We chose to simply live in a limbo, engrossed in our work, often almost “enslaved” to make money and to go in the pursuit of unbridled emotions of rapid consumption (e.g. shopping, experience, sex, etc…). As a result we have gone into a slump, mentally and emotionally, often getting distracted by petty politics, novels, footballs and other Carnivals.

Furthermore, all these consumptions for “pleasure” have not caused the indices of happiness to increase. For example, in 1957, 52% of Britons said they were very happy but in 2005, only 36% declared that they were happy, though their wealth had trebled! But needless to go that far or back in time. Just look how so many of the richest and most successful people of our planet are extremely unhappy and sunk in problems like drugs and alcohol, probably because to reach at the “top”, they “sold their soul” on the way only to realize at the end that… they are not happy. Had anyone ever doubted, for example, that the King of Pop had been an extremely unhappy and distressed person in the past recent years? Or, that football players like Cristiano Ronaldo live in a true hell due to lack of privacy, as if living “stuck” inside a gilded cage? He once himself mentioned that if he could, he would have liked to go to a mall more often with his nephews.

On top of all this, isn’t it an irony that after several years of allegedly acquiring prosperity, we are suddenly (?) afflicted with a financial crisis to which no one in the world can remain indifferent! Most of us became automatically submerged “under water”, not knowing how to breathe when this crisis appeared because we got ourselves in debt up to a limit in order to buy whatever society demanded us (e.g. house, car, LCD, trademarks, etc.),. This has generated a lot of anguish and despair, not to mention hunger, in many cases.

In this emergent scenario of chaos, many “saviors” are making their entries. People who are trying to offer quick and easy solutions to structural problems which cannot just be solved like a shot, within a few days. Sadly some people are so much accustomed to easy consumerism that they accept these easy solutions and think for a moment that they’re happy, confounding simple fleeting emotions of euphoria and pleasure with real happiness. They fall under the illusion that a simple “clap” of hands will heal their life or a “magic pill” will bring them happiness.

But I believe that real change can take place only if one walks with awareness, discipline and focusing on inner work every day. This is the real way to Change the World – by changing ourselves. So despite of this crisis, I feel that we are living in a fantastic time! We have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves as individuals and as a new society, to change our mental paradigms both politically and socially, to seek new solutions that are more balanced, environmentally friendly (or eco friendly) and sustainable in order to “win back” our happiness.

But for that to happen, we need not wait for a “savior”, much less a politician to bring the solution. The attitude has to come from within each of us. It is our responsibility. Yes, it’s YOUR responsibility.

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  1. Beata said on March 10th at 9:35 pm:

    It really is difficult to get qualified people on this subject matter, however you sound like you are aware of what you are referring to! With thanks

  2. Vasco Gaspar said on March 18th at 1:00 pm:

    Thank you for the compliment, Beata!
    Wishing you a great day,

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