Naturalization & Happiness

In a video by Dan Gilbert he shows that there is data showing that after one year a person winning the lottery and a person becoming a paraplegic are both equally happy with the state of their lives. When we hear this we might instantly believe that this is completely absurd but when we look at our own lives we can deduct that this would be the case. Whether it is obtaining a house, a doctorate, or winning a million dollars we will ultimately naturalize. The average person may not be able to understand this because they are lacking something.

Imagine for a moment you’re in a desert about to die from dehydration, what would you give to get a glass of water? I would wager heavily you would offer up everything you own and could possibly own for that single glass of water. The rich will often say to the poor, “there is more to life then money” but that is akin to someone swimming in a pool telling the person about to die of thirst that water means nothing. We usually understate how important water is because we have magical faucets that can provide us seemingly unending amounts of it. Understanding contexts can allow us to understand why people that seemingly have everything can become so depressed that they can end their lives or get nasty drug habits. This can provide comfort to the envious to understand that the rich, emotionally, don’t feel any different then themselves.

If you have the world, you should build a new world you can’t have instead of throwing away the one you do.

Human naturalization is a huge threat to Elolight. Naturalization keeps pushing us to want more but it stops us from appreciating what we have already accomplished. If you received the opportunity to go into space, at first it would be absolutely amazing but the more time you spent in space it would increasingly become less interesting similar to riding the same roller coaster multiple times.

Naturalization is not so much a threat as long as it causes forward motion as opposed to regression. When people get to the top and either consciously or unconsciously start rolling back their state to a state of want, this can slow down our entire progression as a race. This seems completely absurd that anyone would do this but the desire for change can be so powerful that some humans might choose to roll back to acquire it. While rolling back can put someone into The Flow it might not ultimately have a positive outcome. We should always strive for positive change that pushes the entire race forward. If you have the world, you should build a new world you can’t have instead of throwing away the one you do.

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One thought on “Naturalization & Happiness

  1. Pingback: The Happiness Trick « Elolight

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