As most of Asian find themselves trimming down to the bare bones of the glorious contentment they enjoyed 30 years ago, some of them has shifted focus and continued to thrive through deploying an effective alternative perspective: Making themselves more interesting and humorous. We are not inevitably happier with a lots more abundant wealth accumulated in modern times where 2/3 of us actually felt worse compared to our previous generation. Putting income inequality, a growing problems aside, we had indeed accomplished impressive progress since the 60s where access to resources are widely more available; Opportunities for higher educations, better paying jobs, affordable domestic and international flights, better sanitation and healthcare, accessible transportation and so on which was limited to only the much richer segment of the world in the past.
It was proven that relentless pursuit of materialistic gains is no sure route to salvation. Tremendous tensions could arise over peers expanding affluence in China where decades of economic progress had opened opportunities never experienced before. The overwhelming majority of satisfactions did not come from within but come from endlessly comparing and competing with others. What inspires the most of us is not so much the improvement on personal social mobility as a thrilling cause but accomplishing the generic goals of wealth accumulation that promise glory and esteem in the eyes of friends and families. Achievement on better living standards must be celebrated but it would be callous to ignore the impact of increasing flaunting of materialistic gains on feelings of identify and belonging of the masses.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things” – Dr. Seuss
Many scholars also are convinced that self-enlightenment with right level of humors and positive outlooks on life can contribute to the current vacuum of balanced values in China. At the core of this search is to search for the qualities of integrity, courage, wisdom and sincerity. As priority got shifted away from relentless exclusive pursuit of prosperity more happiness can actually be unleashed. In fact, one of the greatest compliments one can possibly receives was not the talents nor the wealth but rather on their enthusiastic personality; the capacity to influence, care and engage with one another.
Being interesting and humorous play an increasingly important roles in unlocking doors to many opportunities as positive social perceptions, enthusiastic attitudes and open minded non critical interesting individual attracts liked minded people; One find better liked minded spouse, better paying jobs, more satisfying work, rewarding relationships, abundant favors being given and so on, generally higher level of life satisfaction across all level as we progress through different stages of our living years. The entanglement of many in china social discontent highlights a key concern of lack of higher self-fulfillment along the Maslow hierarchy law of needs. One didn’t need a bigger house, better car and so on to climb up the levels.
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” — George Washington Carver,/ American scientist and inventor
The ways one carries himself also give us a glimpse on his or her positive and resilient mindset and whether greater responsibility and legacy can be delegated and achieved. Like the former US president Theodore Roosevelt once replied in the letter after his resident was being vandalized: “Thanks for your concerns, actually I am surprisingly at peace with myself. 3 reasons; 1. the thief only gotten away with my possessions and didn’t harm me. 2. He only stole away some but not all my valuable belongings and last but not least, 3. I’m glad I am not the one who needs to steal for a living. One’s highest honor, feeds off a deeply held convictions in Western society: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but rather on its content.
So what does it takes to be an interesting individual? Simply having some jokes readily to share to diffuse awkward moments wasn’t a bad idea to begin with but the best is a an inherently mature and positive outlooks transforming hard lessons learnt in life’s challenging moments, presenting a presence of confidence, passionate and empathy, with suggestions and enlightening stories for sharing and most importantly, a tendency to pause and listen to others from time to time. One should remains neutral over others flaring fame and materialistic focus in Asia.
The interactions between sand particles offer a way to explain a relatively new science that tries to identify and understand the underlying principles that lead to complexity. What happened to the pile of sand on the beach can also be applied to a society facing new challenges in a turbulent world that will rocked by shocks and changes. They show how an interesting and humorous individual, can interact with others which can lead to unexpected positive outcomes.
The common popular perception of only the riches have the capacity to become an interesting individual was blown out of proportions. In fact it’s extremely low entry barrier and comes with zero cost. Change your perspective and you can change your life as a slogan used by a popular radio station on “Slice of Life” as finally we start moving upward the hierarchy of needs rather than being trapped unknowingly in the bottom levels. Enlightenment can be accomplished by gaining superior insights into the dynamics of the way the world is changing and accommodate it with personal belief and experiences. After all we are social beings, being an interesting and humorous individual will be an added advantages for yourself.