Source: http://www.faulkingtruth.com/Articles/F ... /1039.html
Nov 22, 2005
by Mark Faulk
....."The more we have, the less happy we are."
......"But all is not well in Bhutan. They finally became the last country on Earth to allow television in 1999, and within a couple of years, they were experiencing their very first crime wave, with reports from many villages and towns of fraud, violence, and even murder. An editorial in the national newspaper, Kuensel, put it this way: "We are seeing for the first time broken families, school dropouts and other negative youth crimes. We are beginning to see crime associated with drug users all over the world - shoplifting, burglary and violence."
I just watched my ten minutes of TV for the night. On ABC's 20/20, they did a segment about a tiny country in Asia called Bhutan, population 700,000. They bill themsleves as the only Buddhist country in the world, although many of their inhabitants practice Hinduism as well. Of the things written about this hidden jewel, they are alternately described as "the last Shan-gri-la," "the last place on the roof of the world," and "the last unspoiled cultural and ecological preserve in the world." Of course, the Western media prefers to describe Bhutan as "isolated and impoverished."
In Bhutan, the word that means "greed" also means "poison." They've given up on trying to keep up with Western Civilization....actually, they never did try to keep up. Instead of 'gross national product," (GNP), they measure their country's success by something called GNH....Gross National Happiness. In fact, their official greeting is "Tashi Delek!" which means "Good Luck!"
A little background, from an article in the Guardian:
A refugee monk from Tibet, the Shabdrung, created this tiny country in 1616 as a bey-yul, or Buddhist sanctuary, a refuge from the ills of the world. So successful were he and his descendants at isolating themselves that by the 1930s virtually all that was known of Bhutan in the west was James Hilton's novel, Lost Horizon. He called it Shangri-la, a secret Himalayan valley, whose people never grew old and lived by principles laid down by their high lama: "Here we shall stay with our books and our music and our meditations, conserving the frail elegancies of a dying age."
"Here we shall stay with our books and our music and our meditations, conserving the frail elegancies of a dying age." Wow, I don't now about you, but just reading that sentence brings a feeling of calm over me, a feeling that I don't find that often in this corner of the world...and I live in the Midwest. What a revolutionary concept....happiness and inner peace is more important than material wealth.
Before the 1950s, they had no roads, no electricty, and no paper currency. They still have no traffic lights, and no word in their language for "traffic jam." And just last year, they passed a national ban on all tobacco products, saying that "We want no pollution and good health for our citizens."
But all is not well in Bhutan. They finally became the last country on Earth to allow television in 1999, and within a couple of years, they were experiencing their very first crime wave, with reports from many villages and towns of fraud, violence, and even murder. An editorial in the national newspaper, Kuensel, put it this way: "We are seeing for the first time broken families, school dropouts and other negative youth crimes. We are beginning to see crime associated with drug users all over the world - shoplifting, burglary and violence."
And here is a letter from a reader of the Kuensel: "Dear Editor, TV is very bad for our country... it controls our minds... and makes [us] crazy. The enemy is right here with us in our own living room. People behave like the actors, and are now anxious, greedy and discontent."
Other recent events cited in the Guardian article:
18 people were jailed after a gang of drunken boys broke into houses to steal foreign currency and a 21-inch television set. During the holy Bishwa Karma Puja celebrations, a man was stabbed in the stomach in a fight over alcohol. A middle-class Thimphu boy is serving a sentence after putting on a bandanna and shooting up the ceiling of a local bar with his dad's new gun. Police can barely control the fights at the new hip-hop night on Saturdays.
Welcome to Western Civilization.
In an article in the Faulking Truth entitled "The American Way of Life is Not Negotiable," Robin Buckallew put it this way:
America contains 5% of the world's population. We account for 25% of the world's consumption. We are the largest per capita producers of trash. Our carbon dioxide emissions account for 25% of the world's total. In short, we are not only using our fair share of the world's resources, we are, each and every one of us, also using the fair share of 4 other people. The saddest part of this orgy of consumption is the research that has been done on human happiness, finding that we rank very low among other countries on nearly all measures of human well being, including our own self-reported happiness. We are not consuming all of this to produce a grander cultural heritage than other countries. We are not steeped in the satisfying glow of human achievement and happiness. No, the more we have, the less happy we are, because we never seem to have quite enough.
"The more we have, the less happy we are."
And you wonder why other countries look at Americans as capitalist pigs. We are, and furthermore, we're damn proud of it, and we believe that if any other country would just adopt our "Greed is Good" approach for even a week, that they'd want to be just like us....overfed, overpampered, and spoiled rotten. If some is good, then more is better. If more is always better, than no amount of money, of possessions, of "stuff" is ever enough.
I have enough....no you don't, the guy down the street has more, and the guy on TV has even more than he has, and....DAMN! Look at all the crap that guy on MTV's Cribs has. The lucky bastard, and look how happy he looks. Well, doesn't he? More is better, so even when you get more....even more is even better, and so on and so on.
He who dies with the most toys wins.
When is enough enough?
I'll close this mini-tirade with this email that my daughter, a dedicated inner-city elementary school teacher, sent me recently. It explains simplicity in the simplest of terms....just as it should be.
Succeeding in life?.....
A boat is docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
"Not very long," answered the Mexican.
"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs... I have a full life."
The American interrupted, "I have a degree in commerce, so I can help you to be a great success! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."
"And after that?" asked the Mexican.
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.
"And after that?"
"Afterwards? Well my Friend, That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"
"Millions? Really? And after that?" said the Mexican.
"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with the children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings doing what you like and enjoying your friends."
And the moral is:
Know where you're going in life... as you may already be there.
This Thanksgiving, we at the Faulking Truth would like to encourage everyone to turn off the damn TV (and the computer), and count your blessings.....not your possessions. Tashi Delek!