This week I read about a study that looked at levels of happiness for folks who have an income of between $110,000 and $500,000 per year. I don’t know who initiated the study or what they hoped to find out–things that help evaluate the validity of such studies. Anyway, the “takeaway” or point of the person sharing this study is that practically everyone in this income bracket had reported believing they would be happier if they had just a little more income–that they didn’t have all they needed to be joyous. That seems to be one of the hallmarks of our culture and time–we never seem to have enough–never satisfied–we live in a constant state of dissatisfaction: with our income, our bodies, our lot in life, our relationships, our house, our car, the weather…the list seems endless. It seems the more we have the more we want and the more we believe in the myth of scarcity so we better get our’s while the getting is good.
I wonder if maybe at Thanksgiving we shouldn’t fast for a day or two leading up to the big day–not in order to make room for more pie or to slacken our waist bands in preparation for the gravy, but to experience the otherside for a time–the reality of need and want and hunger and deprivation–like much of the rest of the world. I wonder if we would approach the meal and the day with a little more gratitude and humility? I wonder if we would perhaps savour the taste and smell and texture a little more and not wolve our food down so not to miss too much of the big game? Nah–that’ll never catch on… Happy Thanksgiving everyone!