Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rethinking HAPPINESS

Here's a link to an article in the NEW YORKER -- it's worth reading, regardless of how happy/unhappy you are at the moment. A couple of years ago I read a book called HAPPINESS: Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard which was interesting for several reasons but especially because (a) it suggested that the law of diminishing returns applies to happiness as it does with many other things and (b) this particular books ends with a discussion about chemical solutions to depression. I thought this second point was very odd but then again ... it's about happiness, right? And for many people a little chemical help is entirely crucial to maintaining the brightness of their smile -- please be sure to include white sugar in your definition of "chemical help"!

Anyway. The New Yorker article is an elaboration of the points raised in the book (i.e., if you read the article, you don't really need to read the book). On the one hand, I remember an Arab businessman friend whom we met more than 40 years ago, part of the oil-rich tide that spilled over into India, looking for new markets and business. He said that being rich certainly did not guarantee happiness but if you're going to be sad either way, then "... it's better to be rich and sad than poor and sad."

MEANWHILE! More videos. These two are from my recent trips to FATEHPUR SIKHRI and the TAJ MAHAL.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.


Paul said...

Is that you wearing an off-white silkish churidar walking side by side with the man in a red shirt in the Taj Mahal video clip? (Hardly likely. She seems to have no alien like qualities.)

Paul said...

I'm sooooo sorry..!! Just checked yahoo images to make sure the 'bhaartiya naree' in the shot is never you..! How could I have made such a bloomer of a statement..? So thoroughly disregarding your alienhood?

And looking at all those images, I remember I had seen the earlier ones, you know, the young Ms.Manjula, with her trademark boy cut, but oh, so moderately dressed and all that,but I was viewing the later ones for the first time, now, when your hair has grown salt and pepperish and in place of the youthful innocence, there's an air of intellectuality..!!

But from what you write, I know you still are what you always were, and hope you continue being that way..!

marginalien said...

Hey -- hi and tx, Paul! And no need for apologies. Life happens. I had wanted to get around to answering your question about the person in the Taj Mahal vid (I was the one who took those pix so ... it couldn't have been me in them) but the flood of events carried me away, awaaaay ... and I forgot to come back to this comment! Glad you reminded me. As for the past and present, I constantly remind myself of an idea attributed to Kurt Vonnegut -- that for everyone over the age of 30, whatever you look like today, it's always going to be better than you'll look like in the future!