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The Realities of Happiness and Anxiety
By Miss. J.M.J. Kurian

Now a days most of the people feel the shortage of happiness and contentment, though we have a lot of modern facilities to enjoy, when compared to the life style of our ancestors. The Philosophers as well as the Economists of the past have predicted the future of unprecedented material prosperity. They also had a faith in the development of a universal contentment and freedom from the unfulfilled desire. But the history has proved that unfulfilled desires are the main reason for the absence of contentment. This is quite evident in the matter of the natives of the fully developed countries.

It might be surprising to note that the natives of Nigeria are really happy than the people of many of the developed countries. The happiness in USA had been on the decline in the near past. Surveys have shown that from 1972 onwards the happiness of the Americans is declining. So the richness alone is not sufficient to promote happiness. Good job, good family relationships, (especially between the husband and wife as well as the parents and children and the vice-versa) good health etc might be reasons to promote happiness.

A famous Psychologist (2002 Nobel Prize for Economics winner) is advocating the idea of “objective happiness”. It is a measurement of how happy people really are, regardless of what they say. Here arises a confusing question “can we be happy and not know it?” “Worried all the time” the book by Dr. David Abdeegg, the famous psychologist in Massachusetts, is a record of the surveys conducted by the author for the past several years. It says that more people are getting increasingly worried. “It is like everyone on the parenting free way is driving around with a learner’s permit. All parents must feel that a child has to be challenged by criticism feedback, failure and life circumstances.”

Let us think how we could maintain the control over them. A few points are given hereunder.

a) Pay less attention to experts, the media and anyone else who plays to parental guilt.

b) Consider cutting back your schedules. Children often benefit more from free playtime than you might realize.

c) Don’t think of you as neglectful. Enjoy what all responsibilities are rendered by you for your children . Grant more credit to children for their successes. Encourage and congratulate your children in their victories.

We must evaluate the happiness an average Christian could have. Being in Christ means the stage when and where one could have freedom from all sorts of lacking. In St. Matthew 19: 16-25 we find a rich young man who approached our Lord with the intention to follow him. Our Lord said ‘you have a lacking’. God has given us many things including wealth, health and wisdom. Maintain a feeling and faith that what we have is nothing of our own and what we posses is not ours and they belong to Lord God. We must be sure that we are not sole owners of what we hold and enjoy in this world. We must have a strong feeling that we are only trustees/caretakers for a certain limited time. We must utilize the resources whatever we have for the welfare of all others around us. If we are particular on this principle we could have more than enough happiness and contentment. May God bless us all.

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