You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
A sobering thought for times of financial austerity – and for the run up to Christmas!
Thanks to my good friend Phyllis for posting this one on Facebook. Very appropriately, she posted the day before the American Thanksgiving holiday. I’m sure she and her family were reflecting thankfully on all the Lord’s provision for them.
I think I’ve noted before that research shows that no matter what you earn or have, you think you need (or would be content with) about 25% more. A recent Theos report showed that above a certain level of affluence (relative to the average income in your nation – which is interesting in itself), people’s happiness and sense of wellbeing actually decreases. In other words, you’re unhappy if you genuinely can’t make ends meet, once you’re able to feed and clothe yourself and your family, pay the bills and afford occasional entertainment and treats, your sense of wellbeing peaks, and no matter how much more you earn after that, you don’t feel any more satisfied, and in fact start to feel more dissatisfied.
I’m sure findings like these will factor in to David Cameron’s new happiness survey. Let’s hope he manages to begin to shift people’s perceptions of what wellbeing looks like – the report mentioned above suggests that ‘productivity, creativity and generosity’ are key. Can you think of any others?