Quality of Life

We have everything. A house in the suburbs, with the designer interior. Two cars. Two children who have all the toys they can wish for and above all we each have our own career in which we find our personal fulfillment. Most of our friends envy us for the effortlessness with which we live our lives and our neighbors desperately want to know we make it work.

But our friends don't know that, like them, we need the double income to make ends meet. They don't know that we don't like our jobs, but that we stick with them, because it's the only way we can make the monthly payments on our cut-throat mortgage and the loan for our cars. Just as our neighbors are unaware that we are estranged from our children, because we work so much and that we need a therapist to tell each other how we feel. Yes, we have everything that our consumer society tells us to buy, but emotionally we are bordering on bankruptcy.

This doesn't stop us though to strive for even more. We single minded in our goal to earn more money to be able to buy more clothes, a bigger car and a more exotic vacation. Our ideal? To win the lottery and buy it all! So why do we still pursue material growth at the expense of our happiness and well being? Because it's what we are told to do. It's the way we are programmed. Economic growth is the norm and we should all do our best to claim our part of it.

The question though is whether more financial gain will add to our quality of life. Of course you need the basics and a little luxury does add to your well being, but when is it enough? When does more luxury only detract from your happiness, because of the sacrifices that you have to make for it? Do we dare to ask ourselves that question when we are given the promise of extra salary only at the expense of a little more of your time, your freedom of choice, your life?