On the heels of our report on global wellbeing, David Brooks of The New York Times this week showcases exactly why we and so many others are paying less attention to wealth and more attention to overall wellbeing.
He shrewdly lures you in by starting with Sandra Bullock -- contrasting her good fortune in her career with the misfortune in her marriage -- but ends with an assessment that applies to citizens, cities, and countries:
|"Most people vastly overestimate the extent to which more money would improve our lives. Most schools and colleges spend too much time preparing students for careers and not enough preparing them to make social decisions. Most governments release a ton of data on economic trends but not enough on trust and other social conditions. In short, modern societies have developed vast institutions oriented around the things that are easy to count, not around the things that matter most. They have an affinity for material concerns and a primordial fear of moral and social ones."|
|"There is something in the nature of post-industrial economies and in their values that appears to affect the happiness of their people over and above the effects of income. Perhaps it is that people with higher levels of education have more flexibility or choice in pursuing their dreams, building families and social relationships that are more fulfilling, or simply in their ability to adjust to misfortune or bad times. Perhaps it is that knowledge-based jobs are more challenging and fulfilling."|