If you are reading this, it means you are in the richest 78.9% of the world's population who own a computer.
The vast majority of people on this earth have never used a computer. They can't afford it.
You can, are in the richest fifth of the entire world's population! So you should be happy. Further...
If you are reading this, you probably have access to an unlimited amount of fresh drinking water.
From a tap, in your home. How good is that?
We are so lucky to have this, and even take it for granted. Some people don't have access to a tap, or even clean water. Its also likely you have enough food to eat to, and a huge choice to choose from. Millions of people would love to have access to the things you have.
Has COVID-19 damaged your income or people around you?
- Still count your blessings. This is not a war, your grandparents, and ancestors have been through worse.
And survived. And been happy.
In the UK you can get public transport to any part of the country without needing special permission papers, you can cycle around without worrying about being shot. When there are COVID restrictions, this is short term - better, freer times will surely come.
One reason to feel happy is to remember the good things you have, and take for granted.
This may put things in perspective. In a world where advertising and culture can make you feel inadequate for not owning certain possessions, you can forget how lucky you are.
If in doubt, write down the following.
Increase the numbers if you like, but the point of the above is to appreciate what you have, rather than focusing on what you don't have.
It is said 'a persons worth is not defined by their possessions'. A quality of life is defined by contribution and relationships. Remember this if you can, even when the world screams at your for not owning a sports car.
The news is primarily negative and can take its toll. Britain is the 5th richest country in the world, and people still complain, perhaps because they regularly watch and read negative news, telling them the very worse things happening at any time.
Instagram puts a lens on the World - one where everyone is eternally young and beautiful, permanently on holiday and happy. Comparing your life to that, it's easy to get negative. Compare your life to that of someone who's living in famine or war instead.
Of course its important to know whats going on in the world, but its important to remember, often this is the very worst stuff going on. Do something to make things better if you can - write that letter to your MP or the United Nations to help people in Syria or Palestine. However, for every person harmed you hear about in the news, millions upon millions of people are unharmed, and looking out for each other. For every war in the news, there is far more peace. So remember about positive things going on in the world.
The world won't end, we're not all doomed!
Some people get depressed and confused, thinking that the world's demise is imminent. Climate change and ecosystem destruction may lead to our demise, but it probably won't, because we'll take action. Looking at history, big challenges have been overcome. World War Two for example - the Nazis were winning at various points, but in the end the good guys won. Moreover....
People thought women wouldn't get the vote in the UK. They did.
Many thought people of colour in the USA wouldn't get the vote. They did.
More than 100 years ago, slavery was abolished in the western world, despite all the economic arguments at the time. In the UK we have near to 100% literacy rates, something that seemed unlikely 200 years ago. We have a network of train lines, electricity cable and phone lines to every home, with more and more people fitting solar panels, riding bikes and replacing old polluting vehicles with electric cars.
The world is not yet perfect, and there are challenges ahead, but these things declared unachievable one time came about, hope turning into reality. So with climate change, its a huge challenge, as is the continued destruction of the world's ecosystems on which we depend. Especially with large companies trying to make us forget and focus on continued consumption for every lasting economic growth on a finite planet. But other environmental challenges have been over come...
In the 1970s nuclear waste, old London buses and electronic waste was just thrown into the sea. This is now illegal, nuclear waste has been cleaned up from the sea, London buses are recycled and its even illegal to throw electronic waste into a skip or wheely bin - it has to be recycled under the WEEE directive.
In the 1990s a hole in the ozone layer was growing. CFCs were clearly the cause, and scientists and civil society started to call for their abolition. An industry group was formed to confuse the public and push for 'sensible' use of CFCs rather than their ban - just like the plastic bag lobby today. (Since this article was published, the plastic bag lobby wrote to every MP in the UK with misleading information to stop the plastic bag tax. A counter campaign by people with common sense meant the plastic bag tax came in in October 2015. A victory over evil)
A fridge that didn't need to use CFCs, was developed by scientists commissioned by Greenpeace. This was however purposely discredited by corporate lobby groups - spreading lies in the press about them catching fire and not working. (Similar to the negative PR on electric cars recently). However, against industry lobbying and nay sayers, CFCs were successfully banned. To cut a long story short, this Greenpeace fridge technology is now used in every fridge in the world. CFCs were banned under the Montreal Protocol.
The world was saved. Many said it would never happen.
Similarly the problem of acid rain has been solved, despite industry complaints about the increased economic burden on them - the cost of 'scrubbers' to remove sulphur from power station chimneys.
Acid rain is now longer a problem.
Its easy to go from climate change denial (saying its not happening or not man made), to saying its too late - this is what a lot of people and journalists have done - its an excuse for inaction. But its not to late, and we will solve the climate change problem.
So it might seem like the end is nigh - but in reality, there is great hope.
So cheer up, it aint over!
If you would like to help, join Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth and get your friends, family and workplace to go green. Help stop torture, and the encourage the liberation of people by joining Amnesty International.
The most happy people in society tend to be those involved in helping others.
That's why Mother Teresa was happy, whilst billionaires and pop stars often die from drug overdoses
- a symptom of unhappiness, and consequence of not playing their part. Its the way God made it.
Join the revolution.
Another curious fact: Its physically impossible to be depressed during vigorous exercise.
Going for an intense run for ten minutes or riding hard can make you feel better, so if you suffer from depression, try it! Being amongst trees and nature is a great relief from urban living and refreshes the mind.
If you are able to read this, you are probably soooo free. You don't have a soldier telling you what to do, you are free to go where you want, see who you want to see and fall in love no matter what race or religion you are. You have the opportunity to go into politics or set up a company, or just relax with friends, take up hobbies, speak your mind and believe what you wish.
Hopefully this page has made you smile. At least a little it : -)
If not here is a short Charlie Chaplain clip:
This is a great clip, but please ignore the bit on President Jimmy Carter - he's actually a fine man who's been key in eradicating Guinea worm in Africa, spoken up against apartheid in Palestine and promoted democracy through the Carter Centre...
Some resources: Join those making the World better for guaranteed happiness.
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