OPINION

Chasing an ever moving target?

We are experiencing an unprecedented paradox. Logically, liberation from the past’s economic problems as well as a distancing from the dogmas of politics and religion should have improved our standard of life. And it is true that the improvement we have seen in the standard of living in many countries of the world, the access we have gained to countless consumer goods, and the broadening of the educational sector are all great acquisitions. What would be more logical than these achievements linking economic growth and happiness? And yet here is the paradox: None of these achievements, none of these economic philosophies, none of the populist social dogmas has managed to offer us real happiness. On the contrary, the average citizen is being forced into a kind of isolated constraint and often finds himself stressed, lethargic and aggressive. Lacking the ideals that inspired previous, more creative, generations, today’s citizen appears unprepared to make any concessions or to concern himself with the world’s major problems or its startling cultural transformations. In ancient times, the search for happiness constituted the chief goal of political and religious systems. But the more knowledge man acquired, the more his insecurity grew. And so happiness ended up becoming a constantly moving target for some, the fallout of unchecked globalization, unbridled consumerism and unfair competition for others. It seems that our value systems will need to undergo several revisions until we are able to put our priorities in order.