I saw two contrasting things today - the first was an advert for a conference on happiness http://www.scimednet.org/conference_pages/09_Happiness_conference.htm. This contained the information that "the First World has more depression, more alcoholism and more crime than fifty years ago".
Then a little later it was contrasted by an article saying that a significant proportion of clothes bought are never worn - around 50% if my quick scan of the numbers is accurate - and that in Cardiff 2/3 of respondents had thrown catalogue clothes away unworn.
The question that this prompts in me is what contribution this makes towards happiness. Is it the act of shopping that generates the happiness - regardless of the outcome, or are the people unhappy about this, but for some reason don't return the goods? Given that we seem to be coming more like America in our attitude towards our rights I suspect that it is the former, and that people are seeking happiness in shopping - Tesco ergo sum as I have heard it described.
However it doesn't work - or is there someone out there who can tell me otherwise? As soon as happiness depends on acquisition there is always one more thing to buy, one more thing to make your life better - and yet it never does. True happiness is found not by looking for it, but by serving others - For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.