From the NYTimes blog Happy Days: The Pursuit of What Matters in Troubled Times comes this article about uncertainty causing unhappiness. I know it’s no shocker, but my own depressive natures are definitely reflected in not knowing what the heck our lives are going to look like a year from right now.
What You Don’t Know Makes You Nervous
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Seventy-six years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took to the inaugural dais and reminded a nation that its recent troubles “concern, thank God, only material things.” In the midst of the Depression, he urged Americans to remember that “happiness lies not in the mere possession of money” and to recognize “the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success.”
“The only thing we have to fear,” he claimed, “is fear itself.”
As it turned out, Americans had a great deal more to fear than that, and their innocent belief that money buys happiness was entirely correct. Psychologists and economists now know that although the very rich are no happier than the merely rich, for the other 99 percent of us, happiness is greatly enhanced by a few quaint assets, like shelter, sustenance and security. Those who think the material is immaterial have probably never stood in a breadline.