The modern age has thrown up many new challenges. Many people these days are quite agnostic. Science has cast great doubt on many religious claims and as a result society is filled with qualms. Many 'old school' values have disappeared. It is a materialistic world in which we find ourselves. There are a ton of books on happiness, but what is happiness? And what is the opposite of materialism in a material world? There are many people who describe themselves as spiritual, in a 'new age' type of way. What values are left when religion is abandoned? What makes a happy life? is actually a difficult question. The truth is you are not going to be happy all of the time. Life is challenging. It is filled with things many people don't want to do and yet there are obligations.
What would life be like if people were happy all of the time? If someone was happy all of the time, is that really a good thing or are they in some kind of ignorant bliss? Should people dwell on the good or bad? Do negative emotions serve a purpose? Is overcoming pain the secret to life? Is there somehow a balance between positive and negative emotions that we should be striving towards? Think about how people feel at the end of a work week. Tired, exhausted maybe, but also with a feeling of achievement and relief that a rest has been earned. Then think about starting a work week, perhaps filled with dread or determination. How would it be if we felt the same all of the time?
When there is utter loss through say the death of a loved one, that grief is somehow also an awakening. It makes one appreciate the person they have lost and others they still have in their life. While we all fear and dread some emotions and events, these experiences do also bring wisdom and an awareness.
It has been said that modern society is miserable because of the mass worship of the material, the death of God. Most people know money does not make them happy and maybe happiness should not even be the goal. So then what makes a meaningful life? Overcoming challenges? Compassion? Love?
In our desperate search for something to believe in, we are coming up empty. Social media, despite holding so much attention, seems to only be adding to the misery.
Mass virtual connection has somehow resulted in isolation. This modern life is lacking something and many people are noticing it.