Society is happier than we think!

You miserable bunch, you!

Don’t worry. You’re not as miserable as everyone thinks you are. It turns out none of us are.

As per an international survey we humans tend to underestimate the average happiness of people around us. We measure our own personal happiness significantly higher than our society’s happiness…

…so says the data from a survey asking people to guess how their countrymen have answered a happiness questionnaire on the World Value Survey.

It turns society is happier than we think!

So, I take it back, you resilient, well-adjusted, optimistic lot, you!

Don’t get me wrong, I know suffering is real and is a huge part of humanity’s story and mission, but it’s interesting that we underestimate the happiness around us!

Why do we get it wrong about each other?

I think we have to look at the news outlets and what a complex entity they have become!

A glance at the daily deluge of tragic, frustrating headlines will form a certain opinion of the world pretty quickly if left unchecked. Food for pessimistic thought is certainly there.

Researchers at Dartmouth recently took on the pessimistic tendency in the news. Using measurement techniques on the tone and content of articles and comparing across several countries they drew a startling conclusion. For some reason there is far more pessimism in US news than in other countries, as measured in their report published Nov 2020.

This is a word from their assessment:

Regardless of the changing trends in new COVID-19 cases or the political leanings of the audience: “U.S. major media readers strongly prefer negative stories about COVID-19, and negative stories in general.”

Journalists won’t deny it. They hear readers say they want ‘good news’ stories but then when ‘good news’ content is reported it is relatively ignored. We all know by now that clicks are like votes. We click and they follow.

I thought the bubbles created by the social media algorithms were bad enough. It turns out we’re getting fed pessimistic stories because we want it. Sounds like an addict and an enabler to me.

I’d like to imagine an algorithm or a news cycle driven by the things that would benefit humanity or the substantive content born out of a moral imperative.

There is a desperate need for leadership. The key is to realize that no one is going to do it for us. The leaders we need are lying half asleep….in each one of us.

I started writing these emails over a year ago to inform you that this pandemic phenomenon had arrived. My initial directive was to give you some of the basic knowledge.

More and more, I felt the desire to give you a different option than what we hear when we devour what the news cycle offers, to speak to a different side of you.We benefit from knowing that we have more than a physical/natural existence. I think it is food for the soul hearing an average citizen like Anita Moorjam tell the story of a particularly amazing experience in her life when she was facing certain death, in line with many stories of the consciousness expansion that comes at the end of life. The lessons she talks about transcend way beyond addictive pessimism and feed a part of us that is all to easy to neglect.

Her five take away lessons are:

  1. Love is our number one priority. Self-love comes first. The more you love yourself the more you have to give.
  2. Fearlessness. Whether we fear displeasing someone or failure or whatever it is, it’s rampant. We make the false assumption that fear keeps us safe. That’s incorrect. Love does, she says.
  3. Laughter and joy are hugely important. She called them top spiritual practices.
  4. Life is a gift. Far too often we see Life as a burden. Our challenges are a gift. She has a puzzling quote that’s worth pondering. “The cancer saved my life.”
  5. And finally her fifth lesson she learned is to be yourself. And as she says, be as you as you can be.

Amen to that! The world could use a lot more of our true selves. (her TED talk, if you’re interested)

COVID round up

  1. Fair warning: Head’s up! Some uptick as of late. Cases in Berkshire County have increased again. This is the second week in a row that we have seen that. Over the last seven days we have recorded over 230 cases in the county. This is close to double of last week. At no point have we exceeded 500 cases in the county. So that’s a significant jump. There’s a small cluster at the colleges in the county. Stick to your best practices.
  2. Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are all in the top seven states with highest incidence of new cases.
  3. The overall trend in the nation is fairly stable this last week. Up and down around 55,000 cases per day. This is down from a peek around 5-6x that in January. Experts talk about the variants emerging as the vaccine effort pushes back. I’ve heard most experts say that they don’t expect a large surge just a steady continued presence.
  4. The link to the FLCCC protocol for prophylactic supplements is included here. Let me know if you have any questions about supplements. It’s not for everyone, depending on risk, exposure, desire to take supplements and ability to tolerate them, etc.
  5. What’s new with the vaccine?
  • Governor Baker has announced the dates that all remaining individuals and certain worker groups will be eligible for a vaccine.
    • March 22: Individuals 60+ and certain workers
    • April 5: Individuals 55+ and individuals with one certain medical condition
    • April 19: General public ages 16 years of age and older
  • Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People: Review new guidance for people in Massachusetts who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

As always, let us know if you need anything!