"A French Forest"
Over the past years, I have heard and read much commentary on what makes, and keeps us happy, and what can be done to improve the enjoyment of our lives. The solutions put forward are many and various, and I have serious doubts about the efficacy of a great number of them.
One thing that became very obvious to me years ago is that wealth alone can do nothing to help. It always seems that the wealthiest people are often the meanest in their outlook on others and the most miserable of beings. Furthermore, as we have all seen during the recent financial scandals, many of those who have resorted to tax and other frauds were already extremely rich, and their only goal throughout seems to have been to amass further and further wealth, regardless of the effect of their greed on others.
Oddly enough, this greed has not been limited to individuals, but has spread to states and nations, and I have often said and written that this shows a lack of understanding on the part of their rulers of the essential interdependence of all humanity. It is deeply embarrassing to see how obviously well-fed, expensively dressed "western" leaders (whether political or other) boast of their willingness to sacrifice part of their subjects' standard of living to help the very poorest. Such boasting often seems to give them a warm glow akin to happiness, and at some of their voluptuous meetings, they indulge in congratulating themselves and one another on their respective acts of "generosity".
This seems to be as close as such individuals and leaders ever manage to come to an ersatz form of happiness, but they never give the impression of reaching anything better. What is more, they do not give me the impression that they really feel any better for it. Being myself a happy old man, despite very serious health problems, I have no desire to worship at the shrine of materialism (which, being old fashioned, I still refer to as Mammon), and I prefer to concentrate on the genuine mutual interests of everyone, including myself and my nearest and dearest. I do not see this as a great sacrifice, since cooperation is usually beneficial to all, and they can almost always do more for themselves by working together than by selfishly taking advantage of the weaknesses of those who are less fortunate (in worldly terms) than they are.
My attitude is, of course, anathema to materialists and to all those who work so hard to seduce ordinary people into actively wishing to be enslaved by the leaders. The same applies to the most powerful rulers in the world, who wish to subjugate the rest of us, either by direct aggression (as in the case of Iraq) or by using Quislings (as in the situation which we are facing here in too many European countries).
We can now see more clearly that the Obama régime in the U.S.A. has inherited most of the worst aspects of those who have preceded it. Little remains of the hopes aroused by the campaign slogan of "Change" so widely used by the successful candidate. Each of us must nevertheless reflect deeply on what we really want. We must work to attain real true happiness free of the stain of greed. In this way we can enjoy life without suffering from the pain of a bad conscience.
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Read the biography of Robert Thompson, retired Avocat in France and read more of his essays in his column on Axis of Logic, Letters from France. Robert can be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org