Drive to push national policy to well-being

Wouldn’t this be a fantastic development? Rather than focus on income, they actually work on the factors that make measurable difference in people’s lives.

The article talks about how GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is a measure used to estimate people’s well-being. It is a crude and misleading statistic. Some of the happiest people in the world are poor. According to the Happiness index, 7 of the 10 places are in Latin America.

I think part of difficulty with focusing on well-being is that people tend to prefer making decisions based on “hard data”. It is easy to understand money and who has it and who doesn’t. When you start talking about relationships, community, health, and happiness then this causes difficulty for decision makers. I’m not excusing their ignorance, but rather that any transition is going to take time and new thinkers who will perceive the situation.

For example, the latest research on homeless shows that it is far cheaper to society to house the homeless than the costs of them being on the street. As a society it is a fail to have someone on the street no matter what their mental state is, or their personal background. People make mistakes, and yes they do have to face the consequences of their actions, but living on the street and not being in a position to correct those mistakes doesn’t help anyone. We have to help those who don’t have the means to help themselves or what is a society for? Society has to be for more than just enriching the already rich and powerful. Shouldn’t we see in others that we could be in their position if not for the randomness of our own life? Should we have the foresight to see that if we were in their position, we would want some help as well? Shouldn’t we see the waste of the current system and be motivated to do something about the human potential that is untapped?

What is life if it is not spent in making ourselves and others happier?

Stories from my Past: Generosity isn’t always helpful.

If you listen to people, you can learn the most incredible things. One time my coworker shared with me that her son who lived with her was 21 years old. We were talking about cars and she mentioned that he had had 4 cars in his young life. I was amazed and asked why and she shared that he had gotten into some accidents and not been careful. I continued to listen to her but in the back of my mind I had so many questions.

When you buy someone car after car when they are not responsible with one, are you helping them or hurting them? In this case, all those accidents caused him to loose his license and luckily he didn’t lose his life. It was fascinating listening to her explain how her insurance rates were sky high and the other money she spend on her family. She clearly wanted them to have a good life but at what cost to their character?

If money was no object would you give someone whatever they wanted? There is a famous quote that says “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make rich.” I think of that often when I see the self-destructive behavior of what rich people do. Of course you can be homeless and self-destructive as well. Taking care of yourself can be a challenge. However it is also true that suicide rates of millionaires are higher than those less wealthy.

Isn’t it interesting that money doesn’t solve problems, it often just makes them worse.