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A favourite concept of mine is the 200-year present, a way of thinking about change. The 200-year present began 100 years ago with the year of birth of the people who have reach their hundredth birthday today. The other boundary of the 200-year present, 100 years from now, is the hundredth birthday of the babies born today. If you take that span, you and I will have had contact with a lot of people from different parts of that span. So think in terms of events over that span and realise how long change takes. You can see how difficult it has been to create these bodies and new ways and how in many ways we are slipping backward; but in other ways we are not. I take comfort to know that super-power hegemony has a very limited lifespan (decline and fall of Rome, the Ottoman Empire) - Elise Boulding
Recent studies suggest that one common factor can be found in the "happiest" 10% of people: the strength of their social relationships. Psychological research also seems to show that, as people get older, they generally become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.
Meanwhile, at the societal level, tools like The Happy Planet Index (see video below) measure the happiness of countries in relation to the amount of resources each one uses, while the Mappiness (see image) app beeps users once (or more) a day to ask how they're feeling, and a few basic things to control for: who they're with, where they are and what they're doing, and builds from this a barometer of societal mood.
What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction.
There are no strangers here- only friends you haven't yet met - William Butler Yeats
There are no strangers here- Only friends you haven't yet met - W.B. Yeats
The only way to have a friend is to be one - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts - Henry David Thoreau