According to the Hindu tradition, there are three types of happiness: a selfish happiness, one that is indifferent to that of others and another that contributes to that of others.
What we are often shown as an image of happiness is finally a selfish happiness, made of consumption of luxury objects where the individual is brought to the pinnacle. Why is this selfish? On the one hand, because the consumption of luxury products is accompanied by negative externalities in terms of environmental impact and on the other hand, success is never exclusively the result of one person’s will.
Moreover, why such a staging? Probably because Western values dominate on a global scale. These are organized around the idea of freedom and the model of the self-made man.
The inhabitants of less developed countries often live frugally, which has an impact on global happiness, since their frugality allows the coexistence of billions of people. The problem is that we are pushed to desire selfish happiness on a global level, whether it is through movies or social networks like Instagram. What will happen when the whole world leads a luxurious lifestyle?
Nothing, because it will never be possible, the planetary resources do not allow it. If a handful of men and women live in luxury and opulence, it is before thanks to the immense majority who live soberly. It is because billions of people find their happiness in an inner life that a few individuals can find theirs in an excessive and irresponsible consumption.
How long will we continue to promote a selfish way of life to maintain a world of consumption?
The real heroes of everyday life are not those who can be seen on the net or on the small screen. On the contrary, they are those who live with dignity and simply by silently participating in the collective good through the efforts and sacrifices they make.
Of course, putting them in the spotlight has no commercial interest since they would incite us to reduce our consumption rather than anything else. However, the global salvation passes by a very particular attention paid to these individuals who live happily and soberly.
To change the world, we must change the model. We may be luckier this time because we probably all have a champion of frugality in our entourage to take as an example, real heroes from whom we can draw inspiration and no longer tawdry stars on backlit screens or glossy papers.