Happiness for ALL | Daily News


 

Happiness for ALL

Most of us, all over the world, try to wish each other a very happy new year on the dawn of January 1st, even if we are not in a country following the Christian or Roman calendar and Christian beliefs and practices. Many countries, and sometimes different groups in the same country, have their own new year, which too they would be celebrating every year after celebrating the January new year.

We can celebrate any number of new years, yet how wonderful the world would be for all of us, if our new year wishes were really sincere! If we really wished that all human beings on earth be happy in the coming year! Because if all human beings could be happy, that happiness should spread not only to all other animal beings (sabbe sattha bhavantu sukhitattha), but to all life on earth.

We always like to ape the west. When we wish Good morning, if the wish is sincere, it should be a real good morning for the person receiving the greeting. But we will have to wish him again in the afternoon, and again in the night, to ensure the day should be good for him. Instead, if we greet with our traditional Ayubowan, we are wishing them not only a good morning, afternoon and night but a good life.

New Year greetings

In the old days new year greetings were written on printed or handmade cards; often made at home by children. Those who wanted to show off their wealth would use imported greeting cards. The printers made money from the cards and was an annual profitable venture for them. But when we were young, many of us reused the cards, long before environment-friendly ways became a fad. Later the greetings were over the telephone, which progressed to text messages, then email and now WhatsApp and Messenger, with elaborately designed digital cards. Sometimes it becomes a nuisance when the phone memory gets clogged with all the greeting cards. Do we really wish a happy new year when we mechanically tap a few keys and send a card to someone. The only people who are happy by our greetings are those who make and sell printed cards, and those in the communication business.

For the coming new year 2020, let us strive to do our best, by thought, word and deed, to make the world a happy place to live in for all of us. At present the end of the year is when only businessmen are really happy. By every means possible, they are enticing people to purchase whatever is thrown into the market. The seasonal sales become almost an obscene, immoral and sometimes malevolent buying spree. While such purchasing would make a few people happy for a brief instant, it would also make many others sad, frustrated and even envious, because they cannot afford all that is on offer, which they would like, for their children, their parents or themselves.

Printed and digital media, specially the visual media, keep on bombarding people’s homes, with tantalising offers, bargains, easy payment terms, buy-backs, of mostly unwanted, unnecessary and often harmful objects. Most of these products are harmful to our mind and body, and are often harmful to the environment. Yet those who can afford these products purchase them with no hesitation. Others who cannot really afford them fall victims for the offers by banks and credit card companies, borrowing far beyond their means. Those who are still lower in the income categories become depressed, sad and sometime angry and envious.

Compassionate Consumption

Perhaps if we could try to practice Compassionate Consumption, we could really make it a happy new year to many more people and animals around the world. Before we go out to buy clothes, we could count how many shirts, trousers, frocks and sarees we have. We each of us, have only two feet, but we own so many pairs of shoes. If we like to buy things, if we enjoy shopping, going on shopping sprees, let us buy for others, those who are in need, yet could not afford to buy their essential requirements. Instead of giving away used clothes, shoes or household items, let us continue using what we have, and let us give the new items to others in need.

If we can moderate our consumption, in this coming year, we should be able to reduce the garbage disposal problem to manageable levels. What we see on the roads, in the drains, hanging in bags on the walls of luxury houses, and even on the beach, only show us how criminally wasteful we are.

New year and the festive season only make the rich business persons richer. When they offer huge discounts on products, which show us how much more profits they would have been making throughout the year, because even with the discounts, they would still be earning a profit. The business community also earns a huge profit by selling brand names. The money we spend in buying a branded product, could be more than enough to buy may be ten, sometimes a hundred unbranded products of the same quality, which we can give away to others. A watch that costs a few million, or one that costs only a few hundred, could only tell us the time of day, if we are really concerned about time. For most of us, we do not have enough time to attend to some task, or we are behind time, and we also often do not know what to do with the time available. We are never punctual, yet we carry the time on our watch or the phone. This is just one example of obscene consumption.

Instead of reusing the greeting “happy new year”, let us wish everyone a year of Sharing, Compassionate Consumption, a year to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Let us make a new year resolution to BUY NOTHING, for at least one week every month. Let us save our natural resources for our children and their children.


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