Monday, February 13, 2012
The more people have the more unhappy they seem to be.
I have been keeping this observation to myself for a long, long time. Having gone through life under six PMs from Tengku Abdul Rahman Putra to Datuk Najib Tun Razak, I was able to observe the various changes in the life style of Malaysians from pre Merdeka days to this age of nanotechnology. I've of course experienced the change myself. But being a nobody your experience means nothing to others.
Let's not bother ourselves with the trivialities of growing from rags to riches. The young people take that for granted although we old ones know how we growled and grimaced to reach where we are today. Those who hailed from the kampungs as I do will never forget the hard days when we went to school with ten or twenty cents in our pocket, with no proper breakfast,have only a par of bata shoes, and walked or cycled to school.
But, and this is what people seldom emphasized, we were happy. Yes, there was some bad experience with the teachers, but otherwise life outside the school was a romance with nature. Fishing in the padi field, swimming in the river, trapping birds, gallivanting in the dusun with a lot of fruit tress, playing tricks on the girls etc. etc.
We had nothing much but we were very happy. No bullies in school, no cigarettes or drugs, no fear of being robbed since we don't carry any money, no naughty calls over the phone, no cars and motorcycles crowding the school area both before and after school, no hassle no traffic jams. Now, the school children have everything they need, all the facilities, and the constant pampering, Yet are they happy? We hear cases of schoolboys being bullied, girls being kidnapped and raped, truancy, delinquency, blackmailing, gang-fight etc. etc. Look at them tugging along their bulging schoolbags, rushing to get into the cars, and the serious ones working their little head out to get as many As in the exam as possible. Can they be happy?
Look at the adults, the men and women of the modern age. They are so busy with work they don't have much time "to sit and stare". Life is a rush, to get through the traffic jams, to meet datelines, to pay bills, to wait for important people, attend endless meetings, keep up with appointments, run around too fetch the wife or kids, pay homage or play host to senior relatives and bosses, etc. Home is comfortable and all the facilities and amenities required for modern living are there, but are you really happy? Do you smile more than you grimace and sigh ( I won't say swear and curse).
Now look at the nations in the world. Are the richest and most modern nations home to the happiest and most peaceful people? They have almost everything yet the number of psychos and people with psychological problems, or the unhappy people are more than what one should expect. The Muslims nations in general are much richer today than they were years ago but are they happier and more satisfied with life than their seniors who have returned to the Creator. Are the younger people today happier than the older forks?
What appears so obvious to me is that the more people have of in terms of the requirements of a good life,the more unhappy and depressed they seemed to be. When people meet at socials or by chance you'll hear more of complaints and dissatisfaction than praise and gratitude to the powers that be for a much better life than that experienced by their seniors and ancestors. Much less heard are "praises to the Lord" or "Allah" for the bounties He had bestowed on them, even when they are at a party with so such sumptuous food to eat while some others are starving and dying. People in both rich and poor nations talk more about wars and fightings,
power-monghuls and power-struggles, ruthless killings of civilian, women and children, economic sanctions and boycott, corruptions and exploitations, murders and crimes taking places at all levels of society, etc. There is precious little heard about being happy with what God has given us, living in peace with our neighbors, and helping our neighbors to live a happier and more satisfying life.
I sometimes think that the world has lost its trust in God. More people seem to think that Men (and women) decide what is going to happen tomorrow, especially people in the rich and powerful nation. The more we search (and fight?) for happiness the more unhappy we become with disenchantment and dissatisfaction. The more the world has the more unhappy and disgruntled people are. I sometimes think that God is laughing in our face at our vanity and foolishness, More education has not made the human race wiser perhaps.