why are we unhappy as a nation.

i have worked withe “best”  organisations in Pakistan, i strongly believe intelligence, credentials, education, morality,knowledge mean nothing in Pakistan. The haves are as bitter and greedy as the poor!

 

In every society some people have a greater share of valued resources! these create Social Inequality and Exclusion of a large section of the society!

Material assets such as money, property, education (institutional credibility, and paper certification), health and power than others. (knowledge isn’t included in the list obviously) are an important source of societal power.

these social resources can be divided into three forms of capital

-economic capital in the form of material assets and income;

cultural capital such as educational qualifications and status; and

social capital in the form of networks of contacts and social associations.

Often these three forms of capital overlap and one can be converted into the other. For example a person from a well-off family can afford expensive higher education and so can acquire cultural or educational capital.

Individually What makes people happy is different for everyone — and it’s a good thing! But collectively if the gloom and doom mentality takes over there is a escapist and suicidal pattern that develops unhealthily in the society, recent events have been a proof of that. Pakistanis don’t feel a a sense of well being in the current setup of last five yaers. the government has done nothing to ease this anxiety and there is an inherent indifference on its parts that seems uninterested in the matters of priority no matter how bad the situation gets.

Patterns of unequal access to social resources are commonly called social inequality. Social inequality reflects innate differences between individuals for example their varying abilities and efforts. Someone may be endowed with exceptional intelligence or talent or may have worked very hard to achieve their wealth and status. However by and large social inequality is not the outcome of innate or natural differences between people but is produced by the society in which they live.

The Happiest Countries In The World

The top ten:

  1. Denmark
  2. Switzerland
  3. Austria
  4. Iceland
  5. The Bahamas
  6. Finland
  7. Sweden
  8. Bhutan
  9. Brunei
  10. Canada

The happiest place on earth. Denmark ranks at the top of the list. Yep, the country where Van Gogh was shot to death and the controversial cartoon riots began is the happiest place on earth. The citizens of Denmark, the happiest country, have the most leisure time available per day, at 16.06 hours. How did they judge it?

> Life satisfaction score:
> Employment rate:
> Self-reported good health:
> Employees working long hours:
> Disposable income:
> Educational attainment:
> Life expectancy:

unhappiest place on the planet, according to White, is the African nation of Burundi.

In an article published as  The 10 Things Economics Can Tell Us About country wise Happiness  the author states the following to be major causes of unhappiness

1) Generally speaking, richer countries are happier countries (see above). But since many of these rich countries share other traits — they’re mostly democracies with strong property rights traditions, for example — some studies suggest that it’s our institutions that are making us happy, not just the wealth. More on that in a second.

2) Generally speaking, richer people are happier people. But young people and the elderly appear less influenced by having more money.

3) But money has diminishing returns — like just about everything else. Satisfaction rises with income until about $75,000 (or perhaps as high as $120,000). After that, researchers have had trouble proving that more money makes that much of a difference. Other factors — like marriage quality and health — become more relatively important than money. It might be the case that richer people use their money to move to richer areas, where they no longer feel rich. Non-economists might chalk this up to the “keeping up with the Jones'” principle.

3a) The diminishing-returns principle is true for entire countries, too… The “Easterlin Paradox” suggests that once a developed country passes a threshold average income, more growth doesn’t increase average reported happiness.
3b) … but there might be exceptions — or the whole theory might be wrong!. Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, disagreeing with Easterlin in a widely read paper, have showed that some countries, such as Japan and Italy, have clearly rising levels of well-being alongside rising GDP.
4) Income inequality reduces well-being, and higher public spending increases well-being. These conclusions have been reached many times … and called into question many times. Most interestingly, “perceived social mobility” might mitigate the effects of income inequality. If people think they can move up the income ladder, they’re willing to tolerate a huge equality gap.

5) Unemployment just makes you miserable. Across most surveys, nothing correlates with unhappiness more than unemployment, except perhaps for bad health. This effect is particularly strong among men in Great Britain, Germany, and the U.S. There is an odd silver lining: Being around lots of other unemployed people makes us feel better about not having a job. So high-unemployment regions can possibly “neutralize” the negative effects of unemployment, but that shouldn’t make you feel good about them.

6) Inflation makes you pretty unhappy, too. But its effect is weaker than unemployment. The mixed evidence seems to suggest that a volatile inflation rate decreases well-being, but in countries with generally stable prices, a little inflation has a small effect on happiness. And guess whose happiness inflation ruins the most? Right-wingers, apparently.

7) Working more hours makes you happier … until it makes you miserable. As workers move from part-time work to full-time work, they’re happier. But as they move from full-time work to Jesus-when-will-this-day-finally-end work, the joy of labor subsides. There seems to be an “inverse U-shaped relationship” between hours worked and subjective well-being, although the precise figures differ across countries. Fascinatingly, one study found that, although working long regular hours correlates negatively with well-being, “working overtime has a positive effect on job satisfaction.” Go figure.

8) Commuters are less happy. The studies here are really interesting. Health scientists say that commuting can make you sick and die — not conducive to happiness. Daniel Kahneman’s research on female happiness found that while commuting, women experienced the “lowest ratio of positive to negative emotions during the day.” One study pegged the magic number at 22: If your commute is more than 22 minutes, there is an appreciable decline in reported well-being. Yet another study found that for every 10 minutes of additional commuting, community involvement falls by 10 percent.

9) Self-employed people are happier. When workers think they’re good at their job and that their bosses like them, they’re more satisfied. So it makes sense that when they are their own boss, they’re happier to work. A famous OECD study found that the self-employed “typically report higher levels of overall job satisfaction than the employed.” But another study suggests that only rich self-employed people are happier to be self-employed.

10) Debt sucks. The kind of debt matters. Mortgage debt doesn’t correlate much with happiness. Credit card debt does — in a negative way. Either way, high debt correlates strongly with anxiety and depression.
Research shows that the one thing that provides happiness is our collective experiences.

24/7 Wall St. examined the 10 countries with the highest life satisfaction scores to find the strongest factors related to happiness.

Economic prosperity appears to be one of the strongest factors that relates to overall life satisfaction.
Employment is one of the most obvious causes of satisfaction
After economic stability, physical and social well-being are the largest determinants for happiness.
Not surprisingly, having enough leisure time affects a person’s mental health and strongly impacts happiness

 
How to Be Happy as a Pakistani :

Ofcourse we have external factors to be worried about and which affect our own sense of balancing and juggling life in Pakistan. But here is soemthing to look forward to. these expeierinces will actually make us better. for future.

Get Rid of the NEED for material possessions,  instead focus on the accumulation of knowledge or skill that results from direct participation in events or activities. Such as philanthropic works of value.

Experiences are open to positive reinterpretations. cos experinces for meomries, collective conciousness and documentation of zietgeist

Experiences are a meaningful part of our identity. often involve economic goals and accomplishments, which usually initiate happy feelings.

Experiences contribute to more successful relationships.Experiencing an event together brings you closer to community. It’s cathartic and even fun to talk about your experience, especially if it was a complete disaster!

Advertisements

An entry i wrote for topbastards

I had a bad experience of working with an NGO. Discrminating micromanging snobs who thought they bought me for to serve their egos for slavery for 20k!! lol!! the crappiest job i ever had! this was written probably a month before i resigned! for sake of decency the name is replaced with NGO but you know which one it is! 😉

Having just concluded my month and a quarter with the NGO, I feel I have a lot to say.I have only joined NGO about a month ago as a coordinator. And I am still grappling with its consummate energy. Come to think of it, in just a little over month I have managed a whirlwind 10 days tour of five government schools. A 14th august mela at Indus valley school of art and architecture as well as a volley ball fundraiser.

Getting to know yourself

What is an architect doing as a ‘coordinator’ at NGO you may ask? Well having practiced for nine years enhancing the physical fabric of the society with some of the top local firms has taught me a thing or two! That Creativity and variety are the spice of life and individuals with a greater diversity and broad range of interests live longer!! And yes I am learning a lot.

Cultural development and Cultural psychology are integrated subject of a comprehensive architectural practice and have historically fueled many art and architectural movements and styles. And what is a culture with out a known common identity?

I got interested in NGO work when I first heard of the festival.

Changing the Mental Environment

So I habitually googled and found out about the Ohp and its documentation. I really liked their profiling concept. I looked up the website for what interested me and that was it, people who spent time with Quaid and knew him on personal terms, who were there at the time of freedom movement and their systematic collection of still living people’s testimonies, of people from diverse social, economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds can serve a great deal and reduce prejudice and discrimination with in a complex society such as ours.

Suffice to say I became a silent admirer. I will be honest I never visited any of their events so I mostly followed with their news online and vowed to get involved when ever I got more time on my hands. Of course there are many ways to record a cultural history of a nation and there are other attempts to do the same also, but perhaps not with the same kind of energy and focus!

Giving is rewarding!!

I feel happy and positive in many ways with my experience at NGO. Working with school/ college/university students, these volunteers come from diverse backgrounds. These people are full of positive motivation and bursting energy. I mean, seriously! They seemingly eat normal food! They are eager to dedicate their energy and talents to social change of the future Pakistan. And watching them channeling a larger purpose of serving the patriotic fire and taking pride in being a Pakistani is inspiring.

US rejects high Pakistan fees for supply routes: official

I hope the US and its pressure group buddies stop playing big brother it has failed in the past during cold war, acting like an adjustment bureau with Pakistan. I hope they takes NATO routes out of Pakistan. while we deal with this corrupt democratic rule the corruptocracy ourselves!

The middle class debate

Almost all the powerful ideas that shaped human societies up until the past 300 years were religious in nature. this was rather relevant and educational  to read.

The middle class debate

Published: April 1, 2012

The writer is a former vice-president of the World Bank and a former caretaker finance minister of Pakistan

There is a debate both inside and outside Pakistan about the size of the middle class in the country. I had suggested in an article written some time ago for Dawn that the size of the middle class was about 40 million. At that time the country’s population was about 170 million. If my estimate was correct, the Pakistani middle class accounted for a bit less than 24 per cent of the population. This did not seem to be an unreasonable estimate for a country at Pakistan’s stage of development. I had used a simple back-of-the-envelope type of calculation to reach my estimate, which used the World Bank’s income distribution numbers for Pakistan that provided the shares of income for the upper and lower deciles of population and for the quintiles in between.

Based on considerably more robust pieces of analyses carried out by several Indian scholars, it was determined that the Indian middle class accounted for some 40 per cent of that country’s population. This meant that some 500 million people in India could be said to belong to this economic and social class. While the Indian estimate generated considerable excitement among western businesses, my estimate for Pakistan provoked some controversy. At a conference held in Belagio, Italy, some participants from the US doubted my numbers, suggesting that it was a very high estimate. Why this questioning when a much larger one for India was readily accepted?

The answer is simple. There is a group of scholars in the US who believe that the endgame has been reached for Pakistan as we (and they) know the country today. They believe that Pakistan is now ripe for takeover by Islamic radicals. Once they have succeeded in overthrowing the current political and social order, they will go on to establish a regime not too different from the one that has been governing for the last several decades. Such a regime, like the one in Tehran, will be hostile towards the West, in particular towards the US. It will also be much more dangerous being in possession of a large nuclear arsenal — now believed to be the fourth largest in the world — a radical Islamic Pakistan would pose a serious threat to the US, and by implication, to the state of Israel.  The West should, therefore, be prepared to take action to prevent such an unpleasant outcome. It was, however, not specified exactly what action should be taken.

The middle class estimate, such as the one I had offered, countered this line of thinking. It was recognised that the middle classes normally are more inclined towards modernity than other classes. In this context it is worth quoting from Francis Fukuyama’s recent article in Foreign Affairs.  He writes: “It is most broadly accepted in countries that have reached a level of material prosperity sufficient to allow a majority of their citizens to think of themselves as middle-class, which is why there tends to be a correlation between high levels of development and stable democracy”. He accepts the fact that there can be deviations from this path, as has been the case in Iran and Saudi Arabia, but that is explained by their enormous oil wealth which they can use to obtain the loyalty of the middle class. The Arab Spring has shown — he maintains — that the middle class can be mobilised against any kind of dictatorship including the theocratic ones to which the followers of radical Islam aspire. What stands in the way of the nightmare seen in Pakistan by some American scholars is the middle class. If it is large enough, their fear is unfounded and no action is needed. The academics advocating that the West should be prepared, don’t like this conclusion to be reached since it is likely to breed complacency amongst policymakers.

More serious work has been done on the size of the middle class in Pakistan since I wrote my article. In a recent contribution by the economist Sakib Sherani to Dawn titled “Consumption conundrum” (March 23), he presents a much higher estimate than I had provided, both in terms of the size of the middle class in Pakistan and its proportion in the total population. “I updated the figure arrived at earlier, making one crucial adjustment: for the estimated size of Pakistan’s undocumented (or ‘black’ economy). The adjusted figure for the middle class is a staggering 70 million people, or 40 per cent of the population”, he writes. This brings the Pakistani situation closer to the one that is generally accepted for India.

A large Pakistani middle class will keep Pakistan moving on a relatively liberal path in terms of its economic and political development. This class is also influenced by the members of the large Pakistani and Muslim diasporas, particularly in the US. The Pakistani middle class is well-represented in the various diasporas dispersed across the globe. Notwithstanding the European and American fears about the penetration of radical Islam into these communities, large segments of these populations have picked up the liberal economic, political and social values of their host populations. This makes the diasporas more modern and secular than the native populations from which they are drawn. With the development of communication technologies in recent years, the Muslim communities in the West are not only in touch with their homelands, they are also influencing the populations from which they come from.

We know from the several case studies that have been carried out to understand the dynamics of the Arab Spring, that the diasporas had a deep influence on the events leading up to the uprisings in the streets and the public squares. Prominent members of the diasporas are now prominently engaged in the political restructuring of countries such as Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. In Pakistan, Imran Khan’s rise has the support and financial backing of the Pakistani diasporas in Britain, the Middle East and North America. I think it is safe to assume that Pakistan’s development will be deeply influenced by its middle class, which is not likely to adopt the radicalism on offer by various groups such as al Qaeda and the Taliban.

A bold and simple mode of life

taking free style writing n Pakistani style over analysis seriously to a whole new level!

HILARIOUS! commonsensical on #savingface http://is.gd/zmWBjC

on the other hand, heh. i can understand why would any one hate a muslim? we need to be re packaged and not as above, muslims are egotistical and lost in various wrongly assumed quranic translations of quran. thats ok. and “as plain as my bigotry is to see” and i like that confusion [cos you have to be an Asian, and in Pakistanis shoes to totally ‘get it’ ]

The splendour of a monarch great is worthless for the free and bold:
Where lies the grandeur of a king, whose riches rest on borrowed gold?
You pin your faith on idols vain and turn your back on Mighty God:
If this is not unbelief and sin, what else is unbelief and fraud?

Luck favours the fool and the mean, and exalts and lifts to the skies
Only those who are base and low and know not how to patronize.

One look from the eyes of the Fair can make a conquest of the heart:
There is no charm in the fair sweet, If it lacks this alluring art.

I am a target for the hate of the mighty rich and the great,
As I know the end of Caesars great and know the freaks of luck or fate.

To be a person great and strong is the end and aim of all;
But that rank is not real and true that is attained by the ego’s fall.

My bold and simple mode of life has captured each and every heart;
Though my numbers are lame and dull And lay no claim to poet’s art.

i d like to address this double standard issue through a system of thought i happily subscribe to [as pro regionalism, non taliban,neoliberal nationalist, proudly present in the definition of quran] being rather skeptical of globally imposed western school of “thought”, which hysterically, is totally Islamic in practice! allama is the best person to understanding Quran, allama iqbal had stream of consciousness and a bit of wine to become shair e mashriq, and beautifully delivers Easts understanding of good western progress, and what all man kind including all kinds of Muslim definitions must become. Must watch.

A bit On Noon Sharif

someone asked what i thought about the above. [An “amazing” discovery that reveals that ITTEFAQ FOUNDRIES of Nawaz Sharif (Leader PML-N) has not paid Rs. 40,436,412.00 PKR = $445,728.39 USD to LESCO for using electricity from last 106 months ]

i cant condemn tinda shareefs’ corruption any more than our own “sufi” prez. theres more in KPk and Baluchistan, come to think of it, civil wars dont happen in a country unless theres this much “zulm” on a nation!! :/

“People will redefine themselves when circumstances make it desirable or when circumstances force it on them”. Dorian

This is current situation of political and actually economic affairs of Pakistan. Take the recent Pakhtunkhwah, for instance. And before that Baluchistan and before that Karachi and before that Kashmir. Before that the northern areas (FATA) and even before them ALL. The establishment of Pakistan.

The great Punjab today is divided between Juttistan of chaudhries and Buttistan of Nawaz Sharif. The reason is that the Butt of Kashmir (noon sharif ) is the most respected suffix in the names of the representatives of MSULIM LEAGUE (Noon) of Punjab today. Which by abstracted accounts the second largest party of s Pakistan and is currently keeping all options open by being politically correct.

The Noons dont have any thing bad to say about ANY ONE except Zardari from time to time and pervaiz musharraf (the arch enemy). Not even Taliban!!!Them they have a soft corner for!(perhaps for love of his political godfather the gen zia- who was guess also a dictator, bt unlike Musharraf even more screwed up)

Has nawaz sharif matured in last 4 years? No one can say, because no one knows much about him in depth. A private man in “service” with a 27 year old political career that started with the help of a dictator, the grounds on which the feud between the PPP and them helped the musical power chair business for two decades.

We still don’t know much about Mr Sharif except that he likes to eat phajjai ke Pai or any food for that matter. What does he like to read? if at all?, what are his political role models except gen Zia, countries he like except Saudi Arabia?, does he believe in the islamaization of Pakistan as declared by the Taliban or does he believe in the Quaid-e-Azams Pakistan, while currently leading a party that was formed by him in his name.

Who are his consultants? On foreign policy, internal matters( and ahem food). On surface it seems to be his family. Who we first noticed in the name of abba ji, then his bros shahbaz and abbass sharif then wife kulsoom nawaz, then Hussein his son, then his damaad capt safdar then shabzs son hamza. Clearly the noon league is all sorted out for the future liken PPP.

The reason is, his advisors are primarily the Kashmiris of Lahore and larger Punjab. What does that mean? We don’t know. what does that community think of larger Pakistan? but its true fact that in Punjab if your name contains the suffix of Butt, Mir, Loan, Khwaja , Dar or Banday ( who are all, related whatever their religion on either side of the border mind you.) Your problems will be solved in a jiffy.)

Can he understand or devise a plan for the new lifestyle that educated liberal working class Pakistan has adopted. The severe distrust of the Democracy for the sake of democracy?

At that he cannot always be the sheikh of Raiwand palace neither will he ever be called his excellency ameer ul momineen, badshah in a Pakistan of revolution

the truth is that an increasingly ageing Mr. sharif is being as vague he wants to be until his party comes into power. He might not want to become prime-minister but he will make sure that one from his relative does control power so he can get back his grievances ( from whoever).

He currently gauges public response through his brother Shahbaz sharif who in an attempt to become Mustafa Kamal of Lahore nearly had costed 80 billions to Punjab government

Seems like noon has decided like MQM to learn from past mistakes and is increasingly among popular decisions. Severely against Pervaiz Musharraf. And Resisting future army intervention, keeping it neutral with US despite meeting up with its delegates at Raiwand.

Ignoring the Saraiki middle class that has since long reacted to the threat to their language and identity and set out to develop an ethno-national consciousness in order to resist the assimilation of their ethnic group and language.

When does tis ball get rolling no one knows

Inspiration: Vermeer

Each one prays to God according to his own light.
Mahatma Gandhi.
going through some spring cleaning, given a mood swing , i took out my vermeer book, and got lost into Chiaroscuro for such along time that hours just passed without even realizing, Vermeer  was more than just Visual Concepts,  he was Branding,  Marketing,  “Emotionally iq-ing”, utilizing lighting color sensibilities and so much more.

whaow! I thank God today for being present and feeling blissful. the renewed joy found with what beautiful work of such intense quality strengthens most is ones connection with oneself, the value of  finding meaningful relationship with self on deep levels.