In recent times, economic growth has made some people richer in both developed and developing countries. While studies show that people in developing countries are happier now than before, people in developed countries are not happier than they were before. Why do you think this is and what lessons can be learned from it?
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During the last decades, rapid economic development has brought greater wealth for many people across the globe. While most citizens in emerging countries are reported to be happier than they were, the majority of people in economically-advanced nations claim otherwise. This essay will explore possible explanations for this phenomenon and draw some significant lessons that can be learnt from it.
Perhaps, the fundamental cause of this lies in the level of fulfillment people feel. Booming economies in developing countries have enabled their citizens to enjoy higher incomes and a better standard of living. When all their essential needs such as food, shelter and clothing are met, they tend to feel more content. In addition, they no longer have to work hard to afford a decent life. In Vietnam, for example, people used to work strenuously on their farm from dawn to dusk to grow enough rice for their family. These days, however, most of them hold a 9-to-5 corporate job but earn enough to support themselves and their family. For them, this might be more than what they need. By contrast, people in developed countries nowadays tend to lead a more competitive and stressful lifestyle. When they have acquired a certain level of material wealth, they are likely to become even greedier and have to work harder. Furthermore, advanced economies are service-based, which means that people in such nations are mainly involved in mentally-intensive work. This coupled with the fact that they have less time to relax might jeopardize their mental well-being, and thus they feel less fulfilled than they used to despite being wealthier.
This phenomenon might suggest that more money does not necessarily mean more happiness. When people’s fundamental needs have been met, they should not prioritize material acquisition. Instead, they should strive to achieve a healthy work/life balance and find another meaningful purpose in life. It might be to raise a close-knit family, pursue a passion, become an expert of their field or simply help others. Political leaders of emerging countries can also learn a valuable lesson from this situation so that they could implement appropriate policies that promote more sustainable and meaningful social progress in their own nations.
In conclusion, economic advancement has resulted in higher income for many but this does not necessarily mean that they are happier. Therefore, economic progress should not be the sole aim for any individuals or nations. What they should try to reach is a sense of balance.
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