We grow up in a society that tells us that to be happy what you need is to make a ton of money, spending every waking hour focusing on your work so you can afford that brand new car your neighbor had just bought; that you need to look like an unrealistic version of a model, and that restricting all you eat with crazy and expensive diets and purchasing all the equipment infomercials sell is the way to do it. There is also the belief that you need to purchase name brands which look the same and are made by the same poor people, but cost hundreds of times more than the cheaper versions is important, so you can gain the “respect” of those around us.
With such a distorted version of what happiness is, it is no wonder so many people, particularly our children and teenagers, who are those trying the most to fit in, suffer with depression, self doubt and frustration over not accomplishing those things they think will bring them happiness and love.
Nowhere in the media, are we exposed to the ideas of self acceptance, meditation as a way of calming the mind, appreciation for those things you do have and most importantly, how indispensable community, contribution, volunteering, sharing and getting together with loved ones is to one’s mental and spiritual well-being. Those ideas cannot be packaged and they don’t have the shock value to sell magazines, so there is no industry paying billions of dollars to put them in front of our eyes in commercials, billboards and ads.
That’s where parental guidance and limiting exposure to tv and other toxic influences is so important in those early years. Why showing our children different ways of relating to others, the beauty in all body types, races and cultural influences, to bring children to volunteering opportunities, so they learn the pleasure in contribution and appreciate what they do have is so important to help our little ones understand that who they are and how much they participate in their communities is what will ultimately make them fulfilled. Spending time talking and doing things together, will show them they are cared for and that they matter, in a way text messaging and new toys can never do. We are the mirror our children will use to see themselves.
Below is an infographic with some of the data on happiness. We hope you find it helpful 🙂
Infographic by Webpage FX.