“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
This quote is attributed to the Dalai Lama, although it seems that it is not really his. However, whoever the author is, it contains a huge truth that we often forget and remember only when it is too late.
Why we lose the perspective during life?
As children we have a sort of radar for happiness. We know what makes us happy, very simple things, like being with our parents, run, eat something we like or discover a new place...
But insofar as we grow the society takes us away from those things that gave us so much pleasure. Thus, we are forced to spend more time on activities that we do not like much, but in the meantime we see reduced the time we previously devoted to what made us happy.
Gradually, the society goes on imposing on us its own objectives. Little by little conveys the idea that to be valuable persons is not enough to be unique and enjoy this uniqueness respecting the others, but we need to get good grades and, later, get a good job that allows us to meet the material needs which are constantly increasing.
By doing so we finish losing the connection with our “self” more profound, we forget what first made us happy, and begin to think we can be happy only if we are successful, if we realize certain goals and we adapt to the patterns dictated by the society.
As a result, we work more and more, even if we don’t like our work and every day turns into a torture that creates physical and psychological damage. Therefore, it is not surprising that after a few years we end up getting sick, and we have to spend all the money we have earned to try to regain health, often without success.
Rest, the new cardinal sin
Often we fall into this paradox because we take for granted our health, at least while we're healthy, so every day we tend more and more the rope to the point where it breaks.
The responsibility for this is also of the society that, in particular through the advertisements, says that we can’t stop, we need to go on. This message creates a sense of guilt in people who simply need to get away from the fast lane and get some rest, to recover.
Thus the pharmaceutical industry, which gets billionaires profits because, on average, for every dollar spent it gets 1,000 in profit, sells us drugs that we would not need if we simply slow down a bit for taking a breath or if we change our lifestyle .
What is the solution? 3 questions to think about
The key is to stop and take a psychological distance. Of course, we all need to meet some basic needs, and to do that we have to live in the society and actively participate in the global economy, which will try to impose their rules.
However, the fact is that most people don’t work just to meet their basic needs, but go far beyond, working to buy things that others have made them believe that will make them happy or to achieve certain objectives that, in theory, are desirable, such as success and fame.
In this competition people lose their friends, relatives and health. And what is worse is that when they realize it is too late. Below I propose a few questions that will help you not to fall into this deadly trap:
- How much time of your life would you be willing to pay for this new product you want so much? Remember that everything you buy is not worth money but time of your life, the time it takes to earn the money needed to buy the product. Therefore, always ask yourself if you really want it, if it's worth, spending time of your life to buy that product.
- Is it really necessary? Many of the things we do or buy are not really necessary, we were conditioned to believe that they are, but they’re not. You don’t need to own the latest smartphone model and perhaps it is not even necessary to work so many hours a day, maybe is enough if we change our lifestyle and our priorities, thus reducing the monthly budget.
- Is it this the life you want to do in the next 20 years? Imagine how you will be in 10 or 20 years, is the life you are doing now what you want to maintain in the coming years? If you maintain this lifestyle, how do you imagine you will be in the next ten or twenty years? Remember that we start building the future working on the present, so if you don’t start changing today it is useless that you expect to have a different future.
The paradoxes of humanity: Losing the health to make a lot of money and spend all the money to regain health
4/ 5Oleh Jennifer Delgado