Recently I've reflected more and more what it means to be happy, to be fulfilled, to discover meaning.
What is progress?
Is it accumulating assets, advancing technology, or acquiring more leisure time?
If we gain those things but are not any happier, have we truly progressed?
Sometimes I feel like those societies, peoples and epochs bereft of such "progress" are or were happier than we are now.
Why is that?
We have all of the goodness of present and none of the hardships of the past and yet can we say we are actually happier?
We may be more comfortable, perhaps healthier in some ways, but what have we sacrificed for advancements of science and technology?
Shouldn't there be less war, less hunger, less poverty, less strife?
Shouldn't we be more cooperative collectively, more independent personally, and more in touch with our true selves?
Shouldn't violence, crime, discrimination, greed, hatred and indifference be more widely eradicated?
Are we progressing?
Are we happy?
I don't mean "do we have more fun?" or "is my life more pleasurable than my ancestors'?" or "am I successful financially or socially?"
I mean "do we have meaning, passion, peace and joy?"
If not, what is all this progress worth?