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Are we Happier than our Forefathers?
Some people believe that we are happier than our fore fathers. Others hold a view contrary to this one.
It is true that in certain respects our forefathers were happier than us. But in certain other respects, we are happier than them.
The solution of this controversial point lies in deciding the real definition of happiness. Again, it is not easy to define happiness.
If luxuries, wealth and possessions are to be considered the objects and means of happiness, then, of course, we are far happier than our forefathers. But if peace of mind, contentment, simplicity and such things are to be deemed as objects of happiness, our forefathers must have been happier than us.
Of course, now we have so many comforts in life. Our life span has been prolonged, thanks to the researches in medical sciences. We can get food articles and vegetables and fruits in all seasons which even great emperors like Ashoka and Akbar who had so vast empires couldn’t do.
In this pursuit of wealth, luxuries and comforts, however, we have lost certain things. We cannot get the old sun and fresh air in congested urban areas, just to give one example.
The most conspicuous loss to us is in the field of the mind. We now lead a life of stress and strain. We are always in a hurry as we are too meticulous about the movements of the hands of the watch. In this process, we have lost our peace of mind. Thus, though we have so many articles which our forefathers didn’t have, we may not intrinsically be happier than them. Our forefathers must never have even dreamt of such things as the train, the bus, the aeroplane, the spaceship, the computer, the telephone, the television, the refrigerator, the air-conditioners. Still, our happiness though great, is circumscribed by other considerations.