A history of lost happiness

“Who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behavior,” said media scholar George Gerbner. “It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it’s a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.”

The conversation about sources of fulfillment and joy has been colonized by the advertisers that manufacture the mindset of the consumer culture.

– Sarah van Gelder

A topic I have returned often to is the pervasive nature of the consumer culture. Van Gelder’s article looking at the loss of American happiness brings forth the argument for what she calls ‘sustainable happiness’ –  “…a happiness built on a healthy natural world and a vibrant and fair society. It is a form of happiness that endures, through good and bad times…You can’t obtain it with a quick fix; [it] cannot be achieved at the expense of others.”

It reminded me of the words of Kristin van Ogtrop:

“Don’t race to the top. Never race to the top. If you want to aim for the top, good for you. But try to get there slowly, deliberately, without knocking everyone else out of the way. Or missing the beautiful view.”

You can find van Gelder’s article here.

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