I wonder if people are happier now than they were in days gone past. Well, we can’t answer that question. Expectations are higher today than they have ever been. I know several people who are going on long distance holidays to beautiful places over the coming weekend. I am sure they will have a fantastic trip, and I am sure that I would enjoy such a trip as well. 50 years ago, people would not have gone on such trips, but would perhaps have been as happy. Our highly connected world gives us so many opportunities to travel and have amazing experiences. I have travelled the world. Am I however happier than the Andrew of 100 years ago?
I was at Marks and Spencer this week buying some extra large clothes. These clothes are easier to get on and off. When I was there I noticed a range of underwear featuring a man called David Gandy. There is a photo of him below. He is a fine looking chap, don’t you think? Why is it that we have images like that? What does it say about the expectations, wants and desires of our society? You will not be surprised to know that I bought the five pack of Marks and Spencer’s underwear.
I sometimes struggle with the benefits of free trade. At school we learnt about the theory of comparative advantage, put forward by the Economist David Ricardo. He explained that countries and people traded based on the comparative advantage they had in producing different goods or services. When I was at Miami airport in December I bought a bottle of mineral water. It is called Fiji water; as the name suggests it comes from the Pacific island of Fiji. The writing on the bottle informs the buyer that the water in Fiji is very pure. Why shouldn’t a company be able to sell water anywhere it wants? However, just stop for a moment and think about the absurdity of shipping water from Fiji to Miami.
Every time I go to my local fish and chip shop, I feel that my Turkish is coming back. Today we were doing some basic conversations and reading an article on the website of the Sabah newspaper. The guys in the chip shop could not be more friendly, and today we had tea chips and an hour of Turkish. That is the world we live in; thank goodness for diversity.
It’s true! Small things can make a difference. This week the people from the Hertfordshire Equipment Service installed these bed rails. They make it easier for me to get out of bed unaided. However there is another another benefit. I can stand next to the bed rail and use it for support. This gives me a great way to stand safely. I have put together this blog standing up using voice input with one hand attached to the new bedrail.
What are your expectations for the rest of your life? I find that I am at my best when I have no expectations. I am never disappointed, and I never wish for things I cannot have. We have expectations about how our future life will be, we compare ourselves with other people. Neither of these are helpful.