Convenience or adventure and happiness?

Convenience comes at a price, it also comes at cost to the environment but is it costing us our sense of adventure and connection?

I watched a movie recently that is set part in the 1950s, there is a scene where a lady has travelled by boat and train from America to Paris. Her sister is waiting for her to arrive at the train station in Paris. As the train pulls in her sister anxiously jumps around trying to see if she has managed to get the train, not knowing if the boat was late or not. She couldn’t send a text saying “hey sis, got to Le Havre, just made the train c u in an hour” – it was the 1950s.

As the smoke from the train cleared the sisters caught sight of each other, running down the platform screaming in excitement. They finally talk, “how was the journey?”, “an adventure, such an adventure”.

Screams and excitement is something we still see at airports every day around the world. But when was the last time you heard someone respond to the question how was your journey, “an adventure, such an adventure”? Not that often. Global travel is faster, cheaper and more accessible but it’s not adventurous – the response is usual “the food was shit, can’t believe how small the seats are and the bloke next to me snored the whole way”.

Is convenience not only screwing the planet but also screwing us?

Rachel Matthews in an artist in London, she was recently interviewed for a book called “how to change the world” by John-Paul Flintoff – great book, worth a read. Rachel works with textiles particularly knitting and crochet, John-Paul asked what motivates her “the satisfaction she derives from her work comes not merely from the finished product but from the process involved in making it”. She and her friends hold “knit-ins” to teach strangers to knit or crochet.

Now knitting may not be adventurous or for everyone, but the joy that Rachel gets from the process of making it outlasts the final product. Maybe that is something that would help solve the happiness quotient being skewed towards wanting rather than having. Perhaps if we had a part in the manufacturing process, perhaps if we enjoyed the process rather than the product our happiness would be maintained after we received the product and also the environmental impact reduced?

Maybe if we enjoyed the process, focused less on the convenience in all that we do, we and the planet would be a lot happier?

One Comment on “Convenience or adventure and happiness?

  1. See The Willpower Instinct by Kelly Mcgonigal for insight into the physcology of wanting rather than having.

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