KVE301/KVE401 Universal Human Values and Professional Ethics
Chapter 3: Basic Human Aspirations – Continuous Happiness and Prosperity
Every human being is continuously trying to do things to make him/ her happy and every human being is capable of feeling this happiness in himself/ herself spontaneously. In addition to happiness, we aspire for adequate fulfillment of our bodily needs (prosperity). Nobody wants to be deprived even for a single moment. So let us try to understand what is this happiness and prosperity.
The state or situation in which I live if there is harmony/ synergy in it, then I like to be in that state or situation. i.e. to be in the state of liking is happiness.
Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Happiness may be described as consisting of positive emotions and positive activities. There may be three kinds of happiness: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. In other words, freedom from want and distress, consciousness of the good order of things, assurance of one’s place in the universe or society, inner peace, and so forth. Happiness is the state of mind, where we feel good in most of the walks of life.
Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life; or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion.
On the other hand, when we experience feelings such as failure, disrespect, lack of confidence, being doubtful in ourselves or about others, we feel unhappy as they are states of conflict. These are the states when there is a lack of harmony, either within and want to try and change them – we can call this unhappiness. We can thus state unhappiness as:
The state/situation in which I live, if there is conflict/contradiction in it, then I do not like to be in that state or situation. i.e. to be in the state of disliking is unhappiness.
So as now we have understood happiness and its difference with unhappiness we are clear that we want the feeling of happiness only. But when we consider the body needs and the feeling of fulfillment of body needs, we seek for the feeling of prosperity. so now we will understand what is prosperity.
Prosperity is the feeling of having or making available more than required physical facilities.
To ascertain prosperity, two things are essential:
- Correct assessment of the need for physical facilities, and
- The competence of making available more than required physical facilities (through production).
when we are able to cater to the needs of the body adequately, we feel prosperous. This is the state of enlightenment towards a better life and a happy society.
Difference between Prosperity and Wealth
While understanding prosperity let us look at another point – the difference between wealth and prosperity. Almost all of us feel that wealth alone means prosperity and try to explain this phenomenon on this non-existent or half fact.
Wealth is a physical thing. It means having money or having a lot of physical facilities or both. Prosperity is a feeling of having more than required physical facilities.
let us explore what is naturally acceptable to us :
- Accumulating more and more wealth while feeling deprived
- Having requisite wealth and feeling prosperous.
Our basic desire is to feel prosperous, and wealth is a means to that end.