I was talking to a stranger while hill walking. He was complaining about how stressful his job was and how it was impinging on his health.
“Can’t you find a less stressful job?” I asked.
“Too many bills, “he replied.
He also mentioned a recent trip to Disneyland that cost him and his family £6000 in all.
“What makes you happy?” this stranger asked me.
What I’m doing now; walking in nature, stopping with my lunchbox in some isolated place and communicating with the Divine. Being grateful that I can be here. Grateful I have the health to do so. Grateful that I will return home tired, but feeling I have accomplished something.
He looked at me as if I’d lost my marbles.
Conspicuous consumerism is as old as the Silk Road itself. The idea of purchasing of goods or services for the sole purpose of displaying one’s wealth is losing ground as minimalism gains power in the West. Happiness is not achieved through materialism. We only need to look at the West to see that depression, and other emotional and mental illnesses caused by debt and reaching out beyond our means, is robbing society of happiness. Happiness comes from the simple things in life that cost nothing.
© 2023 Writer's Notebook: On Being Human