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rojo's avatar

Is this the source of most of the unhappiness in the world today? (details inside)

Asked by rojo (24159points) February 19th, 2015

“He got what he wanted and that’s the only thing that mattered”

Can most of the difficulties that we see in the world today, or for that matter, at any point in the past be attributed to this sentiment?

How many times have we put ourselves or our own happiness at the forefront and to hell with the consequences to others?

I am not saying that we are not all guilty of it, I see it on an individual and a societal level. It is just that I had never really considered it in this context before. I am not saying that we should not set goals or pursue our dreams just that it just seems to me that the pursuit or attainment of ones personal goals, without regard to or no matter what the cost or consequences to others, is a principal cause of unhappiness. At least to others.

Thoughts? Opinions?

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32 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it’s what you do with it after you get it is what matters.

rojo's avatar

I thought about it more as the act of attaining it rather than actually having it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I thought of my sister. All she ever wanted was a lot of money. She attained that. As far as I know, she’s satisfied. She gets to do a lot of cool stuff with her money.

keobooks's avatar

But what if she did really awful things to get all that money? I’m not saying she did, but I think sometimes people want things and think “anything goes” when it comes to getting it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She did do some awful things in the name of money. I’m not sure how she feels about it, though. I’m one of the casualties, and I know how I feel about it. I think she’s in denial.

keobooks's avatar

Well, there’s a sense of unhappiness right there. If not for her, then for you. I think people doing anything and everything to get what they want causes a lot of unhappiness in the world.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Nice connection @keobooks.

ucme's avatar

No, that source is envy & bitterness.

funkdaddy's avatar

Is this just another type of apathy?

People don’t agree what the most important thing is, so there’s always someone to tell us we’re wrong.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is envy and bitterness?

ucme's avatar

^ Err, moving right along.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ucme….just explain what you meant please.

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Coloma's avatar

I think the root cause of all unhappiness boil down to the 7 deadly “sins.”
I am not religious but philosophical and certainly, greed, envy, wrath, sloth, pride, lust and gluttony are some pretty base causes for all unhappiness.
Infact, every personality style has one as their primary weakness.
I am not greedy, prideful, never had an issue with envy, ( which I think is a huge cause of unrest for many ) I am tidy, active, so no sloth, unless they are planned sloth days, haha, not lustful, not angry or wrathful, but….my “sin” is gluttony.

I am a hedonist at heart and love food, drink and sensual pleasures.
Oh well….I’d rather be a glutton than a wrathful, prideful, envious ass.
Besides, I am a generous glutton, anybody care to join me for a food and drink orgy? lol
My ex husband had severe issues with anger, pride, envy and lust, he had to go, no way could I live with his shit anymore. He’s happy being a corporate sociopath, it;s the nature of his beast.

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Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Some people are that selfish, but I think it’s a generalisation. I don’t think this applies to the majority and especially if the danger or problems an action will cause are pointed out. I think most people do care about their societies and communities.

In saying that, I’m very conscious of the change in politician’s motivations. Becoming a politician is now a career choice rather than having a desire to serve the community. In Australia, to become a federal politician you pretty much have to have a law degree. I think this change in motivation (not the law degree) is detrimental to political action and our societies. The goal becomes about staying in power and the willingness to take a bipartisan approach for the betterment of society goes out the window.

Similarly, western societies are much more materialistic. We live in consumer societies where getting the new iPhone (or similar) is more important than considering the conditions of the workers who make them. I’m not sure if we showed people who are driven to buy the newest TV, laptop or phone or even designer dress or shoes, the conditions under which they were produced, that it would lead to them passing on their purchase in order to send a message about not exploiting workers.

In the end I think whether people choose to take the road that provides the most benefit to others rather than fulfilling our immediate desire will depend on the effort people have to expend and other perceived costs.

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