So what will make us all happy?
It’s not cash and fancy items... apparently
Fast cars, flash clothes and fancy handbags - the sort of luxuries that bring a smile to our faces, right?
Wrong, actually, at least according to a leading UAE sociologist.
Dr Mona Al Bahar, the acting CEO of the Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, told the Positive Energy Forum in Dubai yesterday that investing in material things and wanting to show off will not make people happy.
She said that “inner happiness cannot be found by constantly wanting to boost your ego with expensive handbags and cars”.
The forum drew together government officials and representatives from various organisations in an effort to work out how best to make people happy.
The event, which was organised by the Directorate of Residency of Foreign Affairs, is the first such forum to be held since the UAE established a Ministry for Happiness earlier this year. It comes just a week after a senior Ministry of Interior official urged people to stop gossiping and being grumpy at work.
The UAE government believes that the happier people are, the more productive they will be.
Al Bahar, though, said the path to positivity was not via people splashing their cash. She said: “If we think about how we can reach inner peace within ourselves, you have to say ‘I will not dress in a certain way to impress someone or buy expensive cars to make them think I am rich’. “The internal conflict of each time when we try to make ourselves feel positive, but we fail, is because we are not in harmony. We are too busy buying expensive clothes and cars. “On a daily basis, we are seeking to please the ego - till we reach the stage where we are exaggerating that we are the best. The more ego you have, the less happy you are because it’s a constant need for praise. Without getting your handbags praised, your car praised, you feel unhappy. “The question is how many of you can sit alone somewhere for hours and just read a book without being distracted or feeling anxious? If you can do that comfortably, then you can find inner peace. “We also have to ask ‘how much time do we spend feeding our ego? Happiness is either internal or does not exist.”