Light Fittings and Happiness
Consumerism, apparently, is what we substitute for hunting and gathering in the modern world; we get the same 'high' from acquiring a new light fitting as a hunter-gatherer would get from a particularly impressive kill.
However this 'high' does not last long and is subject to 'the problem of comparison' - there is always someone who has a better light fitting. Because of this consumerism does not bring lasting happiness. The people in Bhutan say that it creates greed which is why they have banned advertising hoarding. We don't need Coca Cola, one of their ministers said, when we have good supplies of fresh water. But all people need 'things' to some extent and so the people of Bhutan aim to temper material growth with spiritualism.
The programme made the following suggestions to increase happiness.
Ban advertising, especially to children, and especially those advertisements that are pictorial - giving little information and suggesting that certain unnecessary goods are necessary to attain a certain lifestyle.
Increase taxation in order to equilibrate and distribute wealth.
Slow down and take breaks during the working day e.g. in order to visit an art gallery or take a walk in the park
Change work to a lower paid but more fulfilling role.
Or, if that is not possible, making the most of 'signature strengths' in the work place (signature strengths are the things a person is good at - character traits rather than skills).