Many of you may have seen on the news this week the beginning of a “New Enlightenment” named Action For Happiness. This is a select group of individuals headed up by Labour peer, Professor Richard Layard. Layard believes that it’s principles will help deliver the ideals of the Enlightenment that was proposed by alleged great British thinkers including Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart-Mill who argued ‘the good society is one where there is the most happiness and the least misery’. I say alleged great thinkers, because I am not certain I would have been up all night wondering whether society would be good place to be with a lot more misery to be had. Maybe Bentham and Stuart-Mill were scholars of the fine art of stating the bleeding obvious.
The chart above was on the BBC website and is supposed to be how we should conduct ourselves and turn the tide against ‘Narrow Individualism?’ to make our country a better and happier place for ourselves and those around us. This is all well and good, but most of the people I know try to do these things anyway, it is only when you look at the words from the view of a politician, a banker, a media mogul or the owner of large corporations when they become more distorted.
A bit like this:
Giving: Yourselves and your pals huge bonuses without justification
Relating: Lies to shareholders/voters/readers of your media empire
Exercising: The right to go back on your part manifesto
Appreciating: No one around you except your mistress
Trying Out: New ways to con the masses out of the money
Dream: About a world where you control everything
Resilience: Carry on your selfish pursuits despite the distress you cause to others
Emotion: Show none whatsoever, unless it is false emotion to explain a pointless war
Acceptance: Never accept who you really are and what you have done to others
Meaning: Aim to own something bigger and better than anyone else
Britain on the whole, is not a particularly religious country, so the ideology behind Action for Happiness
is obviously to create a kind of social harmony between us in our everyday lives to make us feel better. Where the good people behind this plan are seriously misguided is that the majority of people act in a decent manner already. I pointed this out in a previous Blog titled Acts of Human Kindness
after the media sensationalised David Beckham’s act of helping out a stranded motorist.
The problem of narrow individualism doesn’t stem from the masses, it oozes from the people who control big businesses, global banks, the media and governments, which let’s accept it, are all the same people. The only narrowly individual people I know are miserable, mean, self obsessed bastards who hoard their money in tax havens and participate in taking and not giving. For that reason, I choose to avoid them, as do ninety nine per cent of other people.
The Action For Happiness campaign recommends the steps above (I hope you can read them) as a guide to creating a happier life for you and those around you, have a read and see how many already apply to you. Now, I am not claiming to be an Evangelist here, I have done plenty of things in my life I am not so proud of, but I scored 36 out 40 which, I think you will agree,? is not a bad score, though I suspect the majority of people I know will be around the same mark or even higher, it’s a bit like an easy exam.
I failed on the following:
19. Invite your Neighbour round for a drink: I have done this once in the Mid 90’s and the couple, I kid you not, were members of a swingers group. She was so pissed she was barely conscious and he loved Formula One and building his own greenhouse. Sorry, never again will I partake in neighbourly drinks.
27. Bake something for a neighbour: I can’t bake and even if I could, if I turned up on my neighbours doorstep with a cake, I think they might well call the Police.
28. Pay for someone in the queue behind: Not tried this one either. I think it is potential trouble, particularly if you are a man. Offer to pay for a woman’s shopping and you are a potential rapist, offer to pay for a child you are paedophile. You would be better off baking a cake for Jonathon King than getting involved in this one.
40. Plan a street party: Now there is a contradiction in terms. Most street parties revolve around a Royal Jubilee or Wedding right? A Royal wedding is a get together of all the greedy bastards from across the world that would adhere to none of the proposals above, so no, I wouldn’t organise a bloody street party to celebrate the coming together of people who would not even take the time to urinate on me as I lay dying in the gutter.
If all the basic acts of human decency listed above applied to the selfish and they were forced to adhere to them, I have no doubt the country/world would be a better place, but they won’t, and that is where the common fault lies in this not so clever movement. If some people are becoming more selfish and mean spirited it is because what they witness on a daily basis in big businesses and the media, they have come to the conclusion that ”[If they don’t give a fuck who they con or shit on why should I?” The only way an Action for Happiness will work is with an all out war on corporate theft and greed before capitalism eats itself.
Win that, and I might even bake a cake and hold a street party!