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Buying future peace and quiet

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I wonder how many people have considered investing in their future happiness in another way?

Picture: Reuters

HERE’S a riddle for those who like useless trivia. Where are you if you find yourself north of Iran, south of Georgia, east of Turkey and west of Azerbaijan?

I’ll bet you were tempted to say Armenia, but the actual answer is that you will have found yourself in the angriest country in the world.

According to a 2019 global emotions report by Gallup, Armenia ranked as the angriest country in the world with 45 percent of people claiming to have experienced a lot of anger.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, Estonia ranked as the least angry population in the world with only six percent of people experiencing regular fits of rage.

I have to admit that over 400 days of lockdown, a range of factors has made me more inclined to be Armenian than Estonian in my outlook!

The other day I was in close proximity to a television – I do not watch any television these days – but on this occasion I watched a commercial that went on for three or four minutes, and I did not know what they were trying to say. I remember commercials being entertaining and clever … Now they are just filled with graphics and people saying a lot of irrelevant words. I was bored and disinterested within seconds.

I told my Dad about it and he said that it’s been ages since he has seen a good television commercial. We sat down and fumed together like Armenians.

Thinking of ways of managing my frustrations, I remembered a friend telling me that cycling does it for him; being out in the open air, pedalling and breathing deeply burns off his frustrations he said.

So the next day I checked online to see what a bicycle would cost, but I am not much of a cyclist and couldn’t afford it anyway, so I closed the website and carried on with my work. However, since that casual look at bicycles, you will not believe the amount of bike adverts have suddenly popped up on my social media and news feeds nagging me to buy a bike. It has become so bad that I am even starting to believe that I need a bicycle.

I wonder if we realise that we are conditioned to believe that we have to buy ourselves something every so often. We convince ourselves that we NEED a new device, a new pair of shoes, an expensive jacket or perhaps a bicycle.

We tell ourselves that this ONE thing will make our life better, until a few months later when we again need something else to produce within ourselves a more “Estonian-esque” attitude.

I thought about this retail therapy myth. It is only natural for us to want to make ourselves feel better with our money, after all we have earned it and we deserve to get something out of it. Yet we are all probably aware that there are so many other worthy causes out there where our hard-earned money could make someone else’s life a bit easier, a tad more bearable.

But besides that, I wonder how many people have considered investing in their future happiness in another way?

Just as an example off the top of my head … Do you remember the excited, loud hordes of youngsters mulling around the mall some days with their snacks in one hand and movie ticket in the other?

These days those same youngsters probably sit at home streaming movies, and it must be nice and cheap and convenient. But I wonder if anyone has considered what would happen if our cinemas break under the strain of empty seats, and these youngsters have nowhere to go post-lockdown?

I wonder if some parents – who are able – have considered buying just one movie ticket on the weekend when the cinema is open, even if they don’t actually go or send their child to the cinema.

That way, with a weekly “donation” the parents will be ensuring that there will be somewhere for their kiddos to go post-lockdown to burn off their pent-up energies.

Personally I think that it would be better to spend some money on movie tickets that you don’t actually use than to be so overwhelmed trying to entertain the bored laaities that you need to buy a one way ticket to one of those grumpy countries when you can no longer stand them telling you that they wish they had somewhere fun to go.