Consumer Society Won't Make People Happier - Bulgarian Patriarch
The real needs of Bulgarians and people across the world relate to their daily toils and quest for harmony, argued Bulgaria's Patriarch Neofit.
"The needs of Bulgarians today do not differ from those of Bulgarians in the past, or from those of citizens of other countries. Those are universal needs," said the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in an interview for Dnevnik.bg.
Neofit however added that contemporary consumer society presses new needs upon people, which take up considerable time and energy.
"Those new needs would hardly make people happier or more worthy," said Neofit.
The Bulgarian Patriarch suggested that he will not be opening accounts in social media like Facebook, after at least two fake such accounts surfaced.
"New technologies as means of communication are no different from old ones, insofar as they are only means. The way they are used still depends on people themselves," said the Patriarch.
"Easier communication in no case mean better for the soul. And in the sea of diverse information that engulfs us, it is ever harder for one to glean what is realy important for one's life," added he.
Neofit was enthroned Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in February 2013, after the November 2012 death of predecessor Patriarch Maxim.
He has gained prominence by actively but moderately taking positions on current problems in Bulgarian social life.
Neofit was born Simeon Dimitrov in Sofia, 1945, and in 1975 became a monk at the Troyan Monastery, where he assumed the name Neofit (Neophytos). In 2001 he assumed office as metropolitan bishop of Ruse.
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"However, as your reading comprehension is suspect, you might benefit from some help with it, so here is the translation: “Pi$$ off, you condescending POS. You can scuk my d!ck whenever you wish; that’s between composing your eat-sh!t postings on the SNA forum. Fcuk off” "
Thank you. This will help me further my research into why your race is so unhappy. With such anger and frustration inside you it's clear that you can and will never be a happy individual. And being an unhappy, frustrated and depressed (and unintelligent doesn't help either) person only leads to you not only not contributing positively to your own society, but also a strong candidate for emigrating to a more affluent society and participating in criminal or illicit activities which in turn hurt people who were never exposed to the sadness, frustration, negativity and depression you have been subjected to your whole life. That's the tragedy of being a Bulgarian in the 21st century.
If you’ve read carefully my most recent opinion (which I doubt) its meaning should have become clear to you. However, as your reading comprehension is suspect, you might benefit from some help with it, so here is the translation: “Pi$$ off, you condescending POS. You can scuk my d!ck whenever you wish; that’s between composing your eat-sh!t postings on the SNA forum. Fcuk off”
Now, no matter what kind of an intelligent reply you come up with, I’ll ignore it. (Translation: FOAD, you steamin POS)
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"I think you're confusing your personal political viewpoints with established research on happiness"
My opinions are based on my personal knowledge, thought process and viewpoints, political or otherwise. However, I do not consider myself an expert in established research on happiness, so I don't feel qualified to continue this exchange.
I think you're confusing your personal political viewpoints with established research on happiness. The saddest country on earth is Moldova. Bulgaria is not far behind. If you compare their GDP per capita with that of Costa Rica Bulgaria's is slightly lower but not by much, yet Costa Rica is among the top 5 countries with the happiest inhabitants in the world. Brazil with its poor favelas and rampant crime is a much much happier place than Bulgaria or Moldova.
Poverty has nothing to with unhappiness. I understand that being a Bulgarian you will always link the two, but you should dig deeper to find out the true source of why Bulgarians are so negative/frustrated/depressed/envious. And i think that based on the general sadness observed in Eastern Europe as a whole, it is more of a cultural phenomenon more than anything else. Understanding why the overall regional culture is so sad is another story.
"Could be that the concept of happiness is cultural?"
It is a relative thing. Going back to the "basic necessities" concept as it applies to material things, imagine a situation where you own a 100 sq.m apartment and a three-year old Mercedes E-class. If you are surrounded by people living in ghettos and driving 25-30 year old cars, you are likely going to feel content, important, your self-esteem goes up and ultimately you feel happier. On the other hand, if everyone drives a RR or a Ferrari and lives in a 3000 sq.m mansion home, it will be difficult to convince you that you are doing just fine.
"According to who?"
According to the society itself. If there is a perception that an S-class and an iPhone 5 is a "basic necessity", people that don't have those would not be happy, and therefore unable to move up the pyramid. In the "good old days" of socialism a "панелка" in Sofia and a Moskvich/ Lada, so that on the weekend people could go to the village they originall came from and bring some food, was generally perceived as satisfactory. Combine this with the sense of safety/security (unless you criticized the regime), and you'll understand why many people, especially the older generation, miss the "good old days" and still support BSP
"Basic necessities of life and safety/security are at the bottom of the "happiness pyramid""
According to who? All research points to the contrary. Many of the countries with the happiest people are poor countries where there is no economic or public safety. Bulgarians in general tend to be rather sad, negative and depressive people, something common throughout Eastern Europe. Invariably where you visit in Eastern Europe you see the same grumpy, depressed faces and constant whining about how poor they are. When you travel to Latin America or Asia you are greeted with warm smiles, a positive outlook and a sense of pride and progress from the locals. Could be that the concept of happiness is cultural?
Basic necessities of life and safety/security are at the bottom of the "happiness pyramid". One has to achieve those in order to move up to friendship/family, confidence, respect, self-esteem, morality, charitable activities etc. Arguably, during 24 years of so-called "преход", many Bulgarians have lacked some of the basic necessities of life and the safety/security that guarantee normal human existence.
I don't necessarily agree with what the Church says but in this case the Patriarch got it right. Look at the rich societies - everybody wants the latest gadget or spend fortunes on cars, watches, expensive homes, yet people are very lonely and there is a high incidence of depression and other mental health disorders. Money doesn't buy happiness, the only thing that leads to happiness is having good family and friends.
He is of course correct. How can getting into debt to the tune of tens of thousands of euros in order to get the latest iphone, car, fashions etc make anyone happy - apart of course from the owners of the companies which supply these goods and rake in the profits
"Those new needs would hardly make people happier or more worthy," said Neofit.".........................
No they won't: but it would make people happier and feel more worthy, just to be able to live above the breadline of poverty; which applies to too many people in BG, whilst the "Elite" have been living in the lap of luxury.