There are two great goals a human can have. He or she can seek enlightenment or work towards a world of peace, love and happiness. At best, we combine the two. --->Philosophy of Happiness
Become a World Savior
If the world were a village of 100 inhabitants, then one man is super rich. He owns a third of the country and 30% of the village's assets. 20 people have 80% of the total wealth of the village. They have much more than they need. 40 people have enough money. They live as small farmers, workers, employees and small self-employed. 40 people (40%) are the poor. Half of them are malnourished or starving directly. In their environment, there is no adequate disease prevention, severe addiction problems (drugs, alcohol) and an escalating crime. (Franz Josef Radermacher, Bert Beyers: Welt mit Zukunft. 2007, p. 115)
The external wealth has doubled in the West in the last fifty years. At the same time the number of depression has increased tenfold. The unregulated capitalism leads to large external wealth for a few people and hunger and unhappiness for ever more people. Capitalist globalization will bring a few super-rich, a little wealth for a small middle class and a massive impoverishment of a large underclass. It creates huge slums, crime and a lot of substance abuse problems.
The number of hungry people has risen significantly in recent years: in 1990 there were about 822 million, in 2008 about 963 million people. On 19. June 2009 the BBC told that now officially a billion people go hungry. That's about one in seven people on earth. Each year die about 8.8 million people, mostly children, from starvation, representing a death every 3 seconds. 50% of the hungry are small farmers. 20% of the hungry are rural workers without land, a further 20% live in urban slums, the remaining 10% are fishermen.
If we do the capitalist globalization with no wisdom, we will destroy the environment, poverty will become uncontrollably large and the unhappiness will grow. There will be many senseless wars. We need a globalization of love, wisdom and peace. The world community should be centered in the principles of universal love, world peace, happiness for all, enough work for all, enough food for all and adequate health care for all. The combination of ecological and social thinking with the modern happiness research can help us in building up a better world.
1. Help that all people in the world have something to eat. According to the Human Rights Charter of the United Nations food is a sufficient human right. The rich are therefore obliged to leave the hungry people of their money so much that everyone can buy enough to eat.
2. Help that all people in the world have suitable work. According to the Human Rights Charter of the United Nations work is a sufficient human right. The rich are furthermore obliged to give the unemployed work, enough land, or money for job creation programs. Jobs may occur in the future much in the social field, if the overall economic wealth is distributed responsibly. Instead of the superfluous luxury of a few we should primarily develop the common happiness of all.
3. See the world. What is to do? There is the possibility of adequate taxation, protection laws for the poor and an agrarian reform. There is the possibility of a Global Marshall Plan and a global eco-social market economy. And there is the possibility that the poor organize themselves and jointly enforce their rights.
4. Consider your options. What can you do? Recognize the many opportunities that the internet offers. We can buy fair trade products. We can look for environmentally farming methods and do not buy products from child labor. Even as buyers, we have a certain power, who we should use. Help charity organisations. Help them with donations. There are many organizations in the world who work for a better future.
5. Develop your own inner happiness. Only happy people can build up a happy world. Only positive people have the strength to go a long way up to the end. Only strong people can not be deterred by difficulties. Only clever people recognize the way in which they can achieve their goals. Only wise people live in the right balance of health, activity and rest, so that they do not consume their energy, but grow by the work for a happy world in their own inner happiness.
6. Become a world savior. A world savior works within its means for a happy world. A happy world is a world of love, peace and prosperity for all. May the world be happy. May all world rescuers work together. Humanity is one family. In a good family, all family members contribute to the success of the entire family. May we understand this, accept our social responsibility and act powerful. Be good, think good and do good. This is the way of global happiness.
Most of the extremely poor live in Africa. There is also extreme poverty in India, China and South America. But these countries are in an economic upswing. In Africa, however, the misery rises steadily. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has tried for forty years with a neoliberal economic policy (privatize state enterprises, liberalize markets, social expenditure savings) to set the economy of Africa in motion. It has the opposite effect. It has failed in Africa.
The number of hungry people is growing not only in Africa but also in other countries in the world like the Philippines and India. In India the social movement Ekta Parishad works with non-violent methods for the poor. Its founder Rajagopal says, that the globalization has been good for India's middle class, but it hurts the poor. 80 percent of the Indians live as farmers. If they have no land, there is no food for them.
Industrial agriculture in developing countries leads to capitalist agricultural corporations, to a great dying under the small farms and to hunger among the rural population. The landless and land-poor farmers in the countries of the so-called Third World represent the majority of the undernourished. What they need above all a piece of land, so that they can feed themselves.
Africa has to learn from India. To overcome the hunger the poor need enough land, enough money to start, enough knowledge to be successful, Protection laws and a fair trade with the west. We shall start with those countries, who have a good Government, little corruption and who want help. They can build up a democratic alliance and help eachother too. Each rich western country can get a partnership to a poor country of the world. They can give money, knowledge and experts to their poor partner country. They can promote mutual tourism and cultural exchange. Step for step we can build up a better world, if we go forward with wisdom, love and good cooperation.
1. Find out about development aid. Harvard Professor Jeffrey Sachs published in 2005 the book "The End of Poverty". In it, he makes concrete suggestions as to how extreme poverty can be overcome in Africa. His main finding is that Africa itself can not escape the economic hardship. The rich Western countries need to help financially and with personnel. Jeffrey Sachs has developed a concrete plan for overcoming poverty in Africa:
- The agricultural income of the farmers could by good advice and some resources (irrigation, fertilizer, high-performance seed) can be doubled easily.
- For the larger crop is not eaten immediately, the population growth should be stopped by a specific family counseling and the free distribution of contraceptives.
- The funds must democratically be managed by the communities themselves so they do not disappear in the government corruption.
- The poor countries must be freed from their debt burdens, so that they have money to overcome the poverty.
- There must be an adequate infrastructure (schools, roads, health, electricity).
2. Orient up of successful models. There are examples of ecological self-sufficient communities, where aid workers can be based on. That sustainable development works, proved the actor Karlheinz Böhm in Ethiopia. He has personally supervised four villages and collected donations in Germany. He established an organic agriculture and thus preserves an entire tract of land from starvation. It took more than a decade, but today, the villages are self-sufficient in everything necessary.
3. Connect Help and Self-Help. The main solution to the world hunger problem is the principle of self-sufficiency through their own country. Every farmer should have the right to have his own piece of land from which he can live with his family. The landless farmers have to get fertile land by the governments.
The landlords must give a portion of their land to the poor. Without land reforms, the world hunger problem can not be solved. Some new agricultural land can also be created. This can happen by the forestation of desert areas. Deforestation must be stopped. Instead establishing monocultures (oil palm, biofuel) for export, each country should provide sufficient land for the population. Small farmers in developing countries must be helped with a good advice from agricultural experts, an effective organic farming, with cooperative structures and a fair global trade.
4. It is important to promote the common sense in the world. Without a return to the values of frugality, inner happiness, universal love and mutual aid the world can not be saved. If egoism dominates the happiness in the world has no chance. We need a world family, which consists of many small families, and where everyone helps everyone, so it all goes well.
5. Build islands of happiness first. The village communities should become places of happiness, so that rural migration ends. If people have arrived in the city slums, it is very difficult to get them back. In the slums we have to built up positive structures in a special way. But everywhere a new culture of civic spirit is very important.
6. Work for the cooperation of all positive people. We need a global change. This can happen only through a global alliance of all positive forces in politics, science, religion and society. And by the intensive efforts of many individuals, each in his place and within his means. Do not lose heart. At the moment the selfishness is large in the world and the sense of community is small. But things can change. We only have one earth. If we destroyed our earth, we will all perish together. We are a world family. A good family will help the most vulnerable members and does not let them starve. In a good family everyone helps everyone. All work for the happiness of the whole family. So all become happy.
Poignant words of Jean Ziegler
The famous Swiss-globalization critic Jean Ziegler fights against capitalist globalization. Until his retirement in May 2002 he was professor of sociology at the University of Geneva. From 2000 to 2008 he worked as a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
Quotes TAZ 2010: "I'll give you an example from Guatemala, where the rich landowners and the Western Fruit corporations have the land in the fertile plains. The descendants of the exiled Maya - 80 percent of the population - have only barren corn fields in 2,500 meters. The pawns are starving. The women view with 30 as 80. The equitable distribution of the country, education for all children, all this will not come because the multinational companies block it. They dominate the most important UN member states. They dominate also the government of Guatemala. A land reform will not come. The white colonialists who exploited Latin America 500 years, not simply renounce on their monopoly of power.
One billion people still live in absolute poverty. The 500 largest transnational private companies control over 52 percent of global GDP. The companies operate on the principle of pure profit maximization. For the victims of the world dictatorship of finance capital, the globalization is daily terror. Every five seconds starves a child under ten years. The number of hungry and poor is rising again. I call it the destruction of people through starvation. For this globalization, there is no excuse. Every child that dies of hunger could be my child or your child. Thereby all these horrible sacrifices are unnecessary. That's what shocked and angered me immensely. Humanity today has the opportunity to secure a happy life for all people. The great wealth that was generated under capitalism, gives us the possibility to feed all the people. The productive forces are increased dramatically. Therefore, there is no excuse for all this, no moral justification for suffering. The neoliberal delusion must vanish. The financial dictatorship must be replaced by a normative world social order.
There's always hope. In our times we are experiencing, as a new planetary civil society rebels against the injustice. At the World Social Forum in Belém, Brazil, in 2009 more than 8,000 social groups and movements were present. Today there is an increasing awareness that we can break the suppression mechanisms through democratic means."
World Happiness Report
(Quotes First World Happiness Report Launched at the United Nations 2012-04-02 (Columbia University, Earth Institut))
The first World Happiness Report (download PDF), commissioned for the April 2nd United Nations Conference on Happiness (mandated by the UN General Assembly), reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and absence of misery as criteria for government policy. It reviews the state of happiness in the world today and shows how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness. The report shows that, where happiness is measured by how happy people are with their lives:
- Happier countries tend to be richer countries. But more important for happiness than income are social factors like the strength of social support, the absence of corruption and the degree of personal freedom.
- Over time as living standards have risen, happiness has increased in some countries, but not in others (like for example, the United States). On average, the world has become a little happier in the last 30 years (by 0.14 times the standard deviation of happiness around the world).
- Unemployment causes as much unhappiness as bereavement or separation. At work, job security and good relationships do more for job satisfaction than high pay and convenient hours.
- Behaving well makes people happier.
- Mental health is the biggest single factor affecting happiness in any country. Yet only a quarter of mentally ill people get treatment for their condition in advanced countries and fewer in poorer countries.
- Stable family life and enduring marriages are important for the happiness of parents and children.
- In advanced countries, women are happier than men, while the position in poorer countries is mixed.
- Happiness is lowest in middle age.
- The happiest countries in the world are all in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Netherlands). Their average life evaluation score is 7.6 on a 0-to-10 scale. The least happy countries are all poor countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Togo, Benin, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone) with average life evaluation scores of 3.4. But it is not just wealth that makes people happy: Political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are together more important than income in explaining well-being differences between the top and bottom countries. At the individual level, good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are crucial.
Combine inner happiness with the way of love
There is a danger along the path of unconditional, all-encompassing love. We can overwhelm ourselves and work too hard and have no energy left for happiness. A karma yogi must practice rooted in inner peace. A karma yogi must take care of him or herself, as it is impossible to take care of others unless the self is cared for. Furthermore, a path of exhaustion only leads to burn-out, not enlightenment.
Jesus said, “love God and love your neighbor.” (Meaning, practice spiritually balanced for the development of the self and for the happiness of others.) Swami Shivananda said, “love, serve, give, meditate, purify, and realize your true self.” The Dalai Lama explains, “live balanced by helping and by meditating.“
Sai Baba said, “helping hands are holier than lips which pray.“ Those who work towards happiness for all beings is holier than the yogi who only searches for self-enlightenment. Sai Baba taught balance and the connection between personal practice and all-encompassing love. He recommended six hours per day of helping the fellow man, six hours per day of meditation, six hours per day to enjoy life, and six hours of sleep.
---> Video Dalai Lama: Inner Peace, Happiness (2 min.)
1. Globe = We visualize the earth beneath us, rub the earth with our feet and think, "May all beings be happy. May the world be happy."
2. Television = What man on television today touches you negative or positive? Clean the energetic connection, visualize him as a Buddha. Give him a positive sentence. Think the sentence as a mantra until you have overcome all attachment or rejection. Everything you see outside makes a knot in your soul. Create harmony in your mind. The first step to happiness is to create a positive world in your mind. We move a hand and send all the people in the television light: "I send light to .. I wish him / her wisdom, love and happiness. May all people on TV be Buddhas or Goddesses of love."
3. Goddess = We rub our hands before the heart chakra. We visualize ourselves as a Buddha, Goddess or Angel: "I am a Goddess (Buddha, Angel). I go the way of the positive. I live in peace, love and happiness."
4. Enlightened Masters = We rub the hands over our head and ask the enlightened masters for guidance and help. We connect us spiritually with their energy, "Om all enlightened masters. I ask for guidance and help on my spiritual way."
5. Mantra = We put our hands together in the lap, move our feet and think many times the mantra "Om Shanti" in our body, in our legs and in the whole world. We stop a minute every thought. We relax. Live in peace and love and save every day the world. That is the correct way to become a Buddha or a Goddess of Love.
---> Download the Wikiversity Book Happiness (basic version 2012) in various formats (PDF, Epub, Kindle) for reading and give away.
Look around you. Observe the world you are living in. Can you feel the beating of a thousand desperate hearts? Can you see the fear for tomorrow in the looks of people? Can you hear the cries of a thousand mothers who are losing their children each day?
Now ask yourself, is this the place where you always wanted to live? Is this the place where each child expects to grow up when they open their innocent eyes and see the world for the first time? Are you able to look in the eyes of those children without the feeling of shame for this reality full of evil, which they have to face? Is this what we have prepared for them throughout centuries and years?
We cannot deny the simple truth that we were the ones who have been constantly shaping this reality. But another simple truth is that it is not too late to change something. We can make this world a better place if we try. So why not to create good instead of evil? Why not to make peace instead of war? Why not to spread love and compassion instead of hate and arrogance?
No one is born with evil within. We are born, filled with love towards everyone and everything around us. But instead of just following our hearts full of light, we keep feeding ourselves with darkness over and over again. When did we stop to judge people by their personality and started to consider the color of their skin? What urged us to acknowledge someone as an enemy just because of the place they were born in? Isn't Earth the only place all of us were born in? Are the borders that someone has drawn on the map powerful enough to build in our souls the borders of prejudice, alienating us from each other? Yes, they are! As long as we let them be. As long as we teach our children to let them be powerful enough.
When the world and this life are nearly destroyed by the evil and hate we spread, we would hardly care about the power we have towards others. We would hardly care about the God others are praying for, as long as those prayers can give us a chance to survive. So why won't we stop caring about it right now, at this very moment? Why won't we start making this world a better place by creating peace and compassion? And finally, why won't we earn the right to look at our children's eyes with the feeling of pride for the world we have built for them?
Think about these questions and, no doubt, you will find the answers. Because the answers to those questions are buried deep inside each one of us. And we will discover those answers as soon as we dispel the dust of evil and hate from our hearts...
Find Anush Kostanyan on Twitter @anushkostanyan, Linkedin, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.