By Eddie Luigi
Let me make this clear from the start. Generally I am happy and content.
I view happiness as a three legged stool, with happiness as the seat and the three legs of home, health and an honest wage for an honest job.
Any of you who have studied psychology will be aware of Maslow and his hierarchy of needs.
Which in a nutshell means until you have achieved the basic needs you cannot go on to achieve any of the more humanistic needs.
The basic needs at the bottom of the hierarchy are food, water, warmth, rest security and safety. Without these essentials it is impossible to proceed up the hierarchy and achieve happiness and fulfil ones potential.
It’s like a game of ‘snakes and ladders’ sometimes you’re going up and sometimes you go down and have to start the climb again.
So, my view is that, until you have the basics of home, health and an honest wage, you can’t even begin to think about happiness. Then if one of those three legs of the stool is missing, happiness comes tumbling down.
But since the tories came to power in 2010, millions of people in England are struggling to gain the basic needs. Hard to believe but the figures do not lie:
4,134 sleeping rough ( up 134% since tories got in 2010) in England.
Almost 1.2 million needed emergency three day food parcels.
250,000 as registered homeless in England.
Around 4 million private renting in England. Most of these will have yearly or month to month contracts, with no basic security.
That is a lot of people that can’t reach a happy state, or fulfil their potential.
Many self help books advise you to simplify and find happiness in the little everyday things.
This does not seem good advice if you have no home and your day is taken up by wondering where you can sleep safely tonight.
Nor does it help if your physical or mental health means that your day is taken up wondering if you can be cured, or taken up trying to overcome the splinter in your mind that feeds the self doubts about your looks, your weight, your usefulness or your worth.
That advice must surely be ignored if after you honest day’s work your ‘honest’ day’s wage, topped up by social welfare, is still not enough to meet your budgetary needs for housing, feeding and clothing your family.
I fear that in our current political situation not everyone will have the three stool legs necessary to think about happiness.
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