In a survey of 14 countries, what country had the largest issue of depression? America! Now, Nigeria where the average per capita income is less than $250. a year had almost no depression or less than 1 percent. Why? Could it be that communal living eliminates the depression created by loneliness? Maybe people in Nigeria do not watch commercials constantly discussing depression so it is not even in their thoughts? Could happiness in Nigeria not be governed by the sum in your bank account or the size of your house? You may question the validity of this study but it was done by Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organization in 2007.
Hopefully Americans are happier now but I doubt the statistics have changed much. I even believe the statistics could be worse because texting only creates a surface level relationship. I have a relative who has just become a teenager and has his first girlfriend. The mother of his girlfriend recently stated, “I think they communicate better texting than in person.” Will that be the future of our children?
Why are we so unhappy? Do money, relationships and happiness correlate? Each person has to decide for themselves. I believe so. Maybe not initially but in the long run…yes!
My children are constantly complaining that they will ONLY be happy when they have a phone or some other cool gadget like an itouch or ipad. I try to always remind them that the latest toy never buys happiness and trying to keep up with others in useless. There will always be someone who has more than you. Instead it is so important to focus on the true lasting riches like family, friendship and health.
While on spring break, I was shocked to be driving my teenage relative again and see him stick in the ipod while I was talking to him. He totally tuned me out. I think all parents, including myself, need to make and enforce stricter guidelines on electronics so our kids don’t “tune out” life. My kids have to read for 30 minutes before they get thirty minutes of electronics. Please enforce not phones or texting on dates or at dinner. I have commented a number of times about how one guy has always stood out who I dated because he always left the phone in the car because he wanted to be “present” with me. That made a lasting impression, unfortunately his kiss did not. Oh well.
My best advice I can probably give others is to buy shares in Apple. I am dumbfounded that kids as old as 5 and 6 have ipads and iphones much nicer than mine. The phenomena of Apple products continues to escalate instead of decline with my kid’s friends. My son is already planning how he can work and get an itouch for Christmas or his birthday. I think the best gift I can give them is saying “no” in life because no one is going to get everything in life. Instant gratification is not the answer. Saving and working hard for their money is the best things I can teach them. It may make them stand apart from others in life.
I would love others to comment and share their insights on how they teach kids about money and instill values that give lasting happiness and true wealth.
Thanks in advance!