The “Globes” newspaper has published a comprehensive article about the “happiness industry,” which is making us more and more unhappy. The rate of depression in the West is constantly on the rise, while the average age of its victims is decreasing. According to data from the World Health Organization, by 2020 depression will be the second cause of disability and death in the world, surpassed only by cardiovascular diseases.
The modern person is sinking in loneliness, but society does not throw him a life-buoy. With the exception of Islam, the role of religion as a source of support is dwindling to nothingness. Communities are falling apart and the concept of a big, happy family in the Western countries is becoming nonsensical. As people shift to the space of virtual communications, they mistakenly suppose that from now on they can manage without a real, caring environment. As a result, a person looks for the solution to all the problems one on one with himself, inside his shell, perched by a computer screen.
The life of a society that suffers from attention deficit flies by at lightning speed. People twitter short trills hoping to have the time to express something that won’t be heard by anyone a moment later. Anything requiring inner efforts, persistence, and time is rejected at the root. When a person is empty, having no true goal, then worry and depression settle in. So where can he get that goal? Where can he find meaning?
Today all serious researchers assert that happiness lies inside contact with others, in bestowal, and that real meaning can only be revealed in the interconnection between us. Viktor Frankl, the famous Austrian psychologist, says that a person sitting at home and trying to find meaning on his own is like someone trying to break into an open door, not understanding that it opens inwards instead of out.
“You won’t find happiness in a shell,” says one of the interviewed experts to the “Globes” newspaper. By focusing on himself instead of extending a hand out to others, a person only increases his narcissism and depression.