Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thought for the Day - Why We Like Arnab and Saas Bahu serials or How to Make People Happy

Most of us are happier when we feel others are inferior or less than to us. It's not how we are but how much happier we are compared to the next person that makes us feel better. It is a relative scale.

To make people happy on a large scale there are two main conditions

1) give them stuff that shows other people as lesser (suffering, or living worse lives), stuff we can sympathise with, feel pity upon or laugh (comedy shows, saas bahu serials, suffering, Arnab etc)

2) give them a platform where they can show how superior they are to the others (facebook, twitter, blogs etc)

In both conditions people are happy. Or happier.

We love watching Arnab because we can say - how can he be like that? We feel superior to him so we watch. That's why he is more popular than a restrained, cultured and articulate newsreader who may make us feel inferior. We don't like to watch such people. We love Saas bahu serials because they evoke the same feelings of sympathy or how-can-they-be-like-that. It instantly makes us feel superior. Which is why these shows are prime time and the shows that offer some sense are relegated to morning and non-prime hours. People don't like to be told they can be better. They like to see how they are already relatively better.

This is a shallow, addictive happiness that is derived from our reactions with the external. These methods have been exploited by rulers and governments for centuries. Also makers of pulp stuff who make billions. The principle - give the people what they want.

Genuine happiness (is it joy?) comes from a place deep within. It is not about the external. It is internal and comes from knowing one's own space in the world, good or bad. It's not relative. It's a unique space that does not diminish or increase because of others.

When we aspire for this sort of happiness, our source of happiness comes from within. Nothing can affect it. We can choose to be happy with what gives us happiness. We need not acquire stuff that we do not really care for, in the pursuit of happiness because we know what we want. We know we can be happy by ourselves and not by comparison.

Then, we don't have a compulsive need to watch Arnab (sorry man, just as an example, but you're hugely popular so...), check our phones, our gadgets, hits on this blog, comments, sad shows etc. We can simply watch the blue skies, flowers, trees, birds, babies, beauty. We can rest in contentment.

1 comment:

Rajendra said...

Jiddu K had said nature is a great soother..