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http://www.chinahush.com/2010/09/13/wha ... se-people/
Original article (in Chinese) posted at:
What stole happiness away from Chinese people?
September 13th, 2010 by Key | Posted in Opinion | 8 Comments Â»
(From Tugus) Chinese people, why are you unhappy? What stole happiness away from Chinese people? Author Hei Jian visited 40 countries to seek happiness.
A few years ago, University of Leicester social psychologist White visited over 80,000 people from 178 countries and regions and drew the worldâ€™s first â€œWorld Map of Happinessâ€�. Surprisingly, the top county was Denmark. Denmark is a country of ice and snow, the southernmost latitude is still north of Heilongjiang Province of China (Chinaâ€™s northernmost province). And Denmark is also a high-tax country with 50%-70% of income tax. So why are Danish people so much happier than people of other countries and regions?
He believes that in Denmark, although with a high rate of taxes, the Danish government is able to use the taxes on the people. The government is responsible for all citizensâ€™ health care and education, and cares for children and the elderly in every possible way. It is ranked first in the world for average money spent per person. Therefore in Denmark, a person who picks up trash for living can be neighbor of people of middle class, and can live equally and proudly. Jan Dion picks up trash for living, he said he does not mind his way of life, because he only needs to work 5 hours a day and spends the rest of time with his family. No one judges his job. He enjoys life because he has many friends. Whenever his children wave at him or his wife hands over a cup of hot coffee, he feels extremely happy.
When we talk about Singapore, the first thought is that this country has strict and harsh laws. Singapore has very detailed legal provisions. Chewing gum or having long hair may be penalized. If you have committed a felony, you may also be tied up and whipped by bamboo whips. But unexpectedly, Singapore is actually the happiest place in Asia. The survey also showed that people living in the slums of Calcutta, India are happier than residents of California. Californians may have more food and better shelters, but the homeless in India have each other.
In Denmark, happiness comes from equality; in Singapore, happiness comes from the rule of law; in the slums of Calcutta, India, happiness comes from the hearts of people that depends on each other.
It is not difficult to see, whether a person is happy or not, largely depends on two aspects. One is external, that is the social environment we live in; the other is internal, that is our personal attitude to life. Today, we (Chinese people) are not happy, also can be analyzed in several aspects.
1. Lack of faith (beliefs)
Most people do not know what the expectations are in oneâ€™s whole life, simply put it, you do not know what you want. Confucius ate coarse rice, drank water, didnâ€™t even have pillows when sleeping and used his arms as pillows, but Confucius said, â€œHappiness is withinâ€�; He said, â€œA basket of cooked rice, a ladle of water, living in the ghetto alleyâ€�, others might think this is an unbearable life, but Confucius was able to â€œkeep his happinessâ€�. Why? Because he knew what he is pursuing in this life.
2. Always comparing
Western saying goes, Whether a person is fortunate or not, happy or not, does not depend on how big of accomplishment he/she has achieved, but from the way how the neighbors look at them. When what we are pursuing is not happiness, but to be happier than others, then happiness will be even further away from us.
3. Living in happiness without realizing it
If a light has been constantly lit, you will not pay attention to it, but if it is brighter and darker at times, or if it is on and off at times, you will notice. Similarly, sometimes we are envied by others, but we hardly notice it. Only if one day we loss that, then we will realize.
4. Not moved by beautiful things
â€œThe spring wind is so selfless, not asking for anything in return but blossomed millions of flowers.â€� We may not have the ability to create beauty, but have we been appreciating the beauty of nature, or the beautiful things created by others? We often ignore and unaware of the natural beauty, artistic beauty, spiritual beauty and many beautiful things in life around us.
5. Do not know how to give
Zhang Shangying from Song dynasty said, â€œNothing is happier than being happy of doing good deedsâ€�, only a person who knows how to give rather than just take can be truly happy. Charity is not a privilege of the rich. Donating millions to disaster relief is charity, give a stranger a smile is also charity.
6. Not being content
How much does a person need to be satisfied? Never enough!
When you are not happy because you donâ€™t have shoes, have you noticed those who do not have feet? Contentment brings happiness.
Harold Albert is the academic director of the University of California. Once he walked on the street full of dissatisfaction and confusion because he had already lost his job and was looking for new work. He walked in the road like a depressed person, completely lost confidence and courage.
Just then, a man with no legs came, sitting on a small wooden platform which was attached with wheels from old skates. He carried 2 pieces of wood and wheeled himself across the street.
When Harold saw him, he had just crossed the street, trying to raise himself a few inches to get on the pavement. Haroldâ€™s eyes met his, the disabled man said happily, â€œGood morning! Sr. Nice morning weather, is not it?â€� At the time Harold felt a strange sense of satisfaction. He thought, I have 2 legs, he has no legs, but he is so happy, what reason do I have to be upset? So Harold became more confident, and went on happily.
7. Anxiety is everywhere
Anxiety of safety, wealth, health and anxiety of childrenâ€™s education and employmentâ€¦ Only a person who is carefree can be happy.
8. Too much pressure/stress
Political pressure, pressure from work, family, emotional stress, financial stress, interpersonal pressure, psychological pressure and physical pressure
9. Standards are too high
Using personâ€™s own standard to demand others â€œIf I can, why canâ€™t you?â€�
Using otherâ€™s standard to demand oneself, â€œIf he can, why canâ€™t I?â€�
10. Not being oneself
A person who becomes a good son, a good husband, a good father, a good friend, a good partnerâ€¦ but if a person cannot become someone that himself/herself desires, always fighting with oneself, then this person has no balance, and naturally, it is difficult for him/her to be truly happy.
Tags: Confucius, Happiness, Happy, Philosophy
This entry was posted on Monday, September 13th, 2010 at 3:53 am and is filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Last edited by momopi on September 13th, 2010, 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Question: From the stand point of science, I can see very clearly what you are doing. But the result is that you devalued peopleâ€™s â€œlived experienceâ€�. In the name of science, you are liable to take away peopleâ€™s reasons for living. What gives you the right (if I can put it in that way) to deprive them of their illusions?
Answer: I too sometimes wonder if the completely transparent and disenchanted social universe that would be produced by a social science (and widely diffused, if that could ever be the case) would not be possible to live in. I think, all the same, that social relations would be much less unhappy if people at least understood the mechanisms that lead them to contribute to their deprivation. But perhaps the only function of sociology is to reveal, as much by its visible lacuna as through its achievements, the limits of knowledge of the social world and so to make difficult for all forms of prophetic discourse, starting, of course, with the propheticism that claims to be scientific.
Most people are stupid and they have finite brain resources. There is only so much time, money and brain power available to teach people subjects. This is why, for example, there must be one major L2 language for international business. People have lives and most cannot or will not learn 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 languages. They have other things to do.
That is a good article. As someone who studies the ascetics, monastics, world religions and philosophy, I think much of the reason why people are not happy is because they live life at such a hurried pace, as though shot from a cannon. In simplest terms, stopping to smell the roses really applies here....because we never stop. Industrialized nations are very guilty of this. Working people to death in banal jobs with a week of vacation or so. The Chinese are definetly guilty of this, as if we want to make people mindless worker drones and provide technology and false material comforts and call this 'happiness.'
I can't speak for China, but the Chinese people I see everywhere else, especially in Taiwan, are VERY miserable deep down, even into their subconscious. It's in their vibe, voice, face, subconscious behavior, attitude, etc. It could not be more obvious.
I am surprised that Momopi would post this since I thought he was very pro-Chinese.
Ladislav noticed the same about the Japanese after being around them for a few years. Then you notice what they are really like deep down. It's not something you're supposed to talk about though, but it's true.
The Travel Channel and mainstream travel guides teach you to only say positive things about every culture, and that everyone is wonderful and friendly everywhere. So, that's the reality that is programmed into common people, and as we all know, our beliefs edit the reality we perceive. So most people only see what their beliefs tell them is there, not what's really there.
The misery is not just general unhappiness. It's in the subconscious behavior as well. For example, whenever I tell my parents a piece of good news, their first reaction is to try to downplay it or put a pessimistic spin or warn you not to get your hopes up.
People like that are party poopers. But that's very common among the Chinese. It's in their nature to bring you down and KEEP you down, especially if you are Asian. If you are white, they wear the fake mask around you longer. But if you are Asian, their true nature comes out.
They constantly keep you in FEAR, GUILT, REPRESSION, etc. and constantly CONTRACT you rather than EXPAND you. When I argue with Chinese, I am constantly trying to expand their minds, and they are trying to contract mine. I notice this struggle all the time.
This is why I am so Anti-Asian, cause I experience what they do to each other, even if they don't realize it.
Everything I've read from David Icke applies to Chinese people to the extreme, even more than to Anglos. They are totally fear based, guilt based, and locked in left brain consciousness of the five sense body computer, as Icke would say.
They are also completely dehumanized. If they never see you again, they never feel any emotion or longing. It's like they are robots without passion.
But again, all this is taboo to say and we are programmed with beliefs that EDIT our reality, and keep us politically correct. It makes me sick that there is psychological pressure against me to not tell the truth. That causes a backlash in me that wants to explode with the truth.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
"If you are white, they wear the fake mask around you longer. But if you are Asian, their true nature comes out."
I see mothers and fathers playing with their children, kids smiling riding on the back of a bike as dad drives through traffic and the kids talks into Dad's ear, grandparents playing with children. This is not a show for my benefit. I stand in the shadows and watch. And high school kids are a joy to be around. Young people in general...
Chinese people in rural areas are quite capable of smiling, laughing and being happy. You should see the sidewalk chess games. 30 old guys gather around and talk and murmur and laugh. A hoot.
Unhappy people look for unhappiness to point their fingers at. Even if they change their situation, they're still bitter about their past experiences.
Ancient philosophers such as Confucius and Epicurus taught people how to be content and happy. They were the "self help" books of their time. Their teachings became popular because there was a market demand for it, and the market demand existed because there were many unhappy people looking for self-help books 2,300 years ago.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... 046&live=1
September 6, 2010
Last year, a book called China Is Unhappy topped the best-seller lists in the Middle Kingdom. It was a nationalistic screed arguing that China should stop debasing itself and stand up to its critics. But is China really unhappy? And how can it become happier?
That's a question that a number of psychologists â€” as well as an entire Chinese town â€” are struggling to answer.
Survey results on happiness in China seem to be entirely contradictory. The most recent Pew Global Attitudes survey found that 87 percent of Chinese people surveyed were satisfied with the way things were going in their country, making it the most satisfied country by far out of all they surveyed.
But a European Union survey ranked China 128th out of 150 countries in terms of happiness. And one recent survey of 50,000 college students showed a surprising level of gloom.
Kai-Ping Peng of the University of California, Berkeley, worked on the survey of college students.
"Sixty percent of people are not very happy about life, and sources of unhappiness include mistrust in government," he says.
Inequality and environmental issues were other major sources of unhappiness, as well as the lack of channels for expressing dissatisfaction, Peng says. These are object lessons in how quickly psychology in China tips over into the delicate topics of governance and dissent.
"This society emphasizes stability. This society emphasizes too much harmony, so the way they do that is by heavy-handed control â€” they try to put everything down and sweep it under the rug without solving problems. People in China need channels to openly express dissatisfaction," Peng says.
Among the things that Jiangyin officials believe make for a happier population are health care and employment. Here, residents at the Jiangyin Sunset Retirement Village play table tennis.
In Search Of Key(s) To Happiness
In recent months, China has seen a shocking outlet to that dissatisfaction: a series of six stabbings in schools this year, leaving 20 people â€” mostly children â€” dead and more than 80 injured. While this is clearly a mental health issue, the Chinese press is also labeling it "social terrorism."
Zhang Jianxin, the deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Science's Institute of Psychology, outlines the profile of a social terrorist.
"It's someone who can't resolve their problems, who receives no sympathy or help from society, and who might start thinking of revenge. And the simplest way of taking revenge on society is to target the weakest members of society: children," Zhang says.
At China's first conference on positive psychology, held at Beijing's Tsinghua University in August, psychologists tried to address the problem of how to lessen that social and political alienation, and build a happier China.
One answer is that in China, it appears that money can buy happiness. According to research, for those Chinese earning less than $450 a month, every extra cent increases their happiness.
Beyond that, it becomes more complex. Psychologists say the foundations for happiness include political and social participation and good governance. And one city is trying â€” in true Chinese, top-down fashion â€” to make its citizens happy.
An Experiment In Happiness
"Happy Jiangyin" is the name of this award-winning experiment that won the China Local Government Innovation Award. Instead of just aiming for economic growth, for the past four years this wealthy city in Jiangsu province has come up with a list of magic ingredients it believes add up to happiness.
Besides health care and employment, it has such diverse targets as how much people should donate to charity (more than $7.35 per capita each year) and how many doctors there should be (26 per 1,000 people.)
In a speech at the conference, Jiangyin's Communist Party committee's head of propaganda, Xu Dongqing, even announced "democracy is good." However, Xu wasn't referring to Western multiparty democracy as it's generally understood.
"The Communist Party is the ruling party, and other parties offer advice and suggestions," he tells NPR. "Under this system, we are trying to further use people's wisdom and suggestions to help the government do better."
In political terms, Jiangyin is aiming for more political participation, without changing the fundamental system, though its indicators do reflect a move away from what some have criticized as China's obsession with economic growth.
If the official statistics are accurate, there have been some achievements: salary growth of 48 percent for urban residents in just four years and a 2 percent drop in rural unemployment to just 2.9 percent.
A Potemkin Village Or Glimpse Of Future?
However, it's worth mentioning that Jiangyin is one of the richest places in China. Last year, its average urban disposable income was more than $11,000: four times higher than the national average. But observers such as sociologist Robb Willer are still ambivalent.
"We saw a lot of things that are unambiguously positive: the construction of civic centers, senior centers, reduction of levels of economic inequality," says Willer, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and has visited Jiangyin.
"But we were left with some questions that we'd be curious about, like how hard is it to become a member of this? What are the barriers to membership that might guardian these numbers that are reported [and] keep them very high?" he asks.
It's difficult to know if Jiangyin is a Potemkin village for show â€” or if this high-profile project may provide a glimpse of what China might look like in the future. And as for knowing whether China really is happy, the psychologists say that even defining happiness in a Chinese context is challenging, let alone measuring happiness there.
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/fe ... 45539.html
Happiness linked to income
Forget everything your therapist told you and focus on your CV: A new study says that paycheck rules your state of mind.
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2010 17:12 GMT
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Best things in life, such as happiness and well-being, are far from free. They start at $75,000 if you are in the US [AFP]
The secret to a happy life is about as elusive as a solid definition of happiness itself. As with US Justice Potter Stewart's definition of obscenity ("I'll know it when I see it.") happiness is probably best understood when experienced.
A paper published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences does not bother with the ephemeral nature of things such as patience, meditation and having a good relationship with your family.
Happiness, and its more holistic cousin, well-being, can be understood in numbers.
For example, one previous study indicated that those with long daily commutes are less satisfied with their lives (of course they are -- they're spending most of it in traffic).
Another study on happiness carries bad news for men shorter than 1.78 meters or a female shorter than 1.62 meters. Yes, your taller friends are happier than you.
But the AP news agency reports that the new study says that it is all about cash -- roughly $75,000 annually, to be precise. Although earning more never hurts.
Those who earn less suffer from a decreased sense of well-being and happiness.
Angus Deaton, an economist at the Center for Healfth and Wellbeing at Princeton University told that AP that a salary of less than $75,000 means that, "Stuff is so in your face it's hard to be happy. It interferes with your enjoyment.''
Deaton, who co-authored the paper on height, and Daniel Kahneman reviewed surveys of 450,000 Americans conducted in 2008 and 2009 for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that included questions on people's day-to-day happiness and their overall life satisfaction.
Of course, it should be made clear that this is a US study, and that in many countries, a far lower sum would bring an equal measure of financial security.
Happiness got better as income rose but the effect levelled out at $75,000, Deaton said. On the other hand, their overall sense of success or well-being continued to rise as their earnings grew beyond that point.
You might want to make sure your boss does not read what Deaton says next.
"Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood...but it is going to make them feel they have a better life" said Deaton.
Not surprisingly, someone who moves from a $100,000-a-year job to one paying $200,000 realises an improved sense of success. That does not necessarily mean they are happier day to day, Deaton said. Hopefully, that pay raise won't come with a longer commute.
The results were similar for other measures. For example, you probably will not be surprised to learn that researchers found that people were really happier on weekends, but that their deeper sense of well-being did not change.
Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winning psychologist, and Deaton undertook the study to learn more about economic growth and policy.
Some have questioned the value of growth to individuals, and Deaton said they were far from definitively resolving that question. But he added, "Working on this paper has brought me a lot of emotional well-being. As an economist I tend to think money is good for you, and am pleased to find some evidence for that.''
Overall, the researchers said, "as in other studies of well-being, we found that most people were quite happy and satisfied with their lives."
What you see above is only a small fraction of what's avail on Chinese language web sites. Here's some additional articles of interest:
http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0 ... PI4_b.html
http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0 ... PI5_b.html
http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0 ... PI6_b.html
http://bigtigeryan.blog.163.com/blog/st ... 112357351/
http://bigtigeryan.blog.163.com/blog/st ... 584020430/
I'll do quick and dirty translation on this section for you: (author is prolly a tree hugger)
http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0 ... PI7_b.html
Chinese, French, Indian, we all hang from the same tree in this world
In a "San Paulo" moment, all kinds of epople, white, yellow, black, and all kinds of mixed blood (mixed race) people appear in my sight. From there, I deeply felt what kind of people is "milk with coffee added".
If we ranked all the world's races by happiness, the Chinese is not on top, nor at the bottom. We're just at a point on the line. Many country's people are above us on the happiness scale, and many are below us.
Typically, the more cautious and conservative the people, the lower the happiness scale. A race/ethnicity's happiness index is only one facet of life today. People's happiness is affected by the ethnicity's characteristics, and each individual country's economic conditions, evelopment level, education, elderly care and other social service's quality.
I thought momopi was anti-Chinese and pro taiwanese...
Anyway, I agree with Globetrotter. Seems like there's a party in the street every single night where I live. People dancing, singing, cooking and having a good ol' time. I doubt they started that because I showed up.
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan
The largest amount of written critique on Asian culture, are written by Asians, in Asian languages only. A tiny % of that gets translated and published in the West. The article below shows opinions expressed by Chinese military analysts, published in the Liberation Army Daily. The significance here is that the Army is a pro-Chinese and nationalistic institution. But technology marches forward and those who are left behind, will become shrimps.
China paper warns military thinking outmoded
Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee
BEIJING | Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:12am EDT
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's military thinking is outmoded and should learn from others, especially the United States, when it comes to modernizing its vast armed forces, a leading armed forces newspaper said on Sunday.
A commentary in the Liberation Army Daily said modernizing China's military was central to reforms which have seen heavy investment in high-tech weapons like advanced fighter jets.
China has been slimming down its military, the world's largest by number, for the past few years, trying to build a more effective force to face U.S.-supplied Taiwan and Japan, as well as the United States itself.
But this needs creativity and more open thinking, the newspaper said, which could be a problem.
"As there is a rather large influence of conservative thinking in traditional Chinese culture, the task of renewing the culture and thinking of our military will be extremely arduous," it wrote.
China had to "audaciously learn from the experience of the information cultures of foreign militaries," it said.
"History and reality have shown again and again that a country which does not have a world view is a backward one. A military which lacks global vision is one without hope."
The United States was a good example to follow in two regards, it added.
The U.S. military buys technology already available on the open market when it can, such as global positioning systems used in the Gulf War, a cheaper and more practical method than trying to develop such equipment itself, the commentary said.
And the United States pays a lot of attention to training, "enlisting large numbers of able men and boldly using them."
The Chinese military looked on with horror during the first Gulf War in 1990-1991, when U.S. guided missiles and precision bombs easily took out Iraqi equipment such as tanks, much of it similar to what China was using at the time.
Since then the People's Liberation Army has come on in leaps and bounds, though analysts say poor training and coordination among different branches of the military remain serious challenges.
During last year's national day parade, China showed off its Dongfeng 21C missile, which could force U.S. aircraft carriers to keep a greater distance if it is successfully developed into an anti-ship ballistic missile.
That would make it harder for the United States to come to Taiwan's aid in the event of a conflict. China claims the self-ruled, democratic island as its own.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard, editing by Jonathan Thatcher)
"BEIJING (Reuters) - China's military thinking is outmoded and should learn from others, especially the United States, when it comes to modernizing its vast armed forces, a leading armed forces newspaper said on Sunday. "
Here is the major Asian or Chinese flaw.
In 1830 the USA did not say to itself:
"We are going to follow the lead of the British Empire."
No, they said:
"We are going to be the greatest nation on earth. Period."
Limiting themselves by setting someone else as the asymptote to approach is the wrong attitude. Of course, God Help the West when/if China stops following and starts doing things just to be the best in an abstract way.
Even now as it stands, China has an active manned space program and the USA is mothballing theirs; China's TGV CRH obliterates anything the USA has in any planning stage.
The time for the USA to get it together is fast running out. I warn my conservative financial buddies; most just jackboot a reply and step on to the soapbox of American Superiority.
This is not going to end well for America.
China actually had a manned space program back in 1960's (Project 714). Had it proceeded on schedule, China would've sent their first manned space mission in the 1970's. However, the country was a complete mess from the cultural revolution, and Mao decided to cancel the program after Lin Bao's attempted coup. Mao could afford to let Lin Bao leave the country, but could not splurge funds on expensive space programs at home.
Space programs are very expensive. The US has the luxury of working with wealthy allies on the ISS and split the costs, plus exclude China politically from the project. The ISS is sponsored by 15 countries, versus China has do it alone (Project 921). Even if China is able to convince members of the SCO to join, they're mostly poor-er countries and the only valuable gain is from left-over space program technology from the USSR era.
If you look at the size and scope of Project 921, it's roughly comparable to the Russian Salyut missions in the 1970s. Like it or not, China has a 40-year gap to catch up to, and the US is trying very hard to prevent China from catching up by excluding China from international joint missions, technology sharring, and satellite launch business.
On the other hand, catching up in the 40-year gap with 2010 technology, is far easier than 1970. While US and China may be more interested in the technology to shoot down each other's satellites, the EU will be joining China in project DRAGONESS: