There are many people in countries in our world today who love to talk about the standard of living statistics or the ‘best place in the world to live’ because their country ranks at No. 1 in the world.
I know I have bragged to others about how great it is living in my country, the luxury of it, the beautiful countryside and mountains of Norway. This is not just appreciating the beauty of our country but gloating and supremacy; of both deserving the luxury we live in and being better than other countries further down the list.
I am here considering this and realising how this attitude may be arrogant, indulgent, individualistic and inconsiderate. The focus becomes less and less about community and working together for the common good of all, instead shifting more and more to how good a life an individual can attain, or the individual family, or just smaller groups, no longer caring for the whole, just about the self and one’s closest.
With these values, greed, self-image and materialism can take over.
We call it ‘the good life,’ a high standard of living, but is this truly living or is it just an existence, one in comfort? For instance, becoming more disengaged from one’s true inner values, thinking that material wealth collates to happiness and that happiness is the ultimate goal in life, instead of realising that life can be about true love, joy and harmony.
In my experience, no true joy has been found in material wealth, only fleeting moments of happiness never sustained, always followed by a come down, a dip or a depression.
With true love for oneself and all of humanity, comes joy and harmony with no need or craving for the next hit of happiness, just living life in a constant flow of contentment.
It would seem that many of us thirst after material possessions: to own at least one house, maybe more, a winter cabin in the mountains, a luxury yacht, cabin cruiser or chalet by the sea, or all of the above – a Mediterranean villa, new cars and motorcycles, several holiday trips per year, the latest technologically advanced computer equipment, this season’s latest fashion in skiing gear, bicycles worth $1000’s, expensive wines, whiskeys, cigars and cognacs.
In this, are we not then teaching our children the same material values and the same excessive lifestyle – actually teaching them to be exactly who they are not, spoiling them completely?
We are not supporting them to hold their kind, loving, considerate, harmonious, joyful and generous nature, often leaving them alone in their rooms to be parented by TV, Internet, on-line gaming, Facebook, App this and App that, death metal, gangster rap, etc. Is this type of lifestyle a responsible way for us to support our younger generations?
The race to attain material wealth can lead to the fact that we are no longer listening to what our own bodies are communicating to us as we go into competition and stress, living trapped in our minds instead of a truly healthy, loving and joyful life.
Given that we are living in so much comfort, then why is illness and disease on the increase?
Consider what is happening to the ageing population in Norway. By the time we get to our 50’s – or 40’s and even younger – we are getting sicker, with more and more cases of mental illness, cancer, diabetes, stress, burnout, etc. If we take a moment to consider a few examples:
- New cases of cancer in Norway are climbing through the roof. Between 1954 and 2013, the number of new cancer diagnoses in men has more than quadrupled and in women the number of new cases has more than tripled. There are no signs of a slowdown in this trend. 
- Diabetes cases in Norway are increasing at an alarming rate. In 2014 roughly 4% of the population were taking diabetes medication and it is conservatively estimated that there may be somewhere between 2% and 4% more cases undiagnosed. 
- Mental illness affects between 30% and 50% of the adult population in Norway, at some time during their lives. 
This begs me to ask the question, “What is it about the way we are living that is giving rise to this upsurge in ill health?”
Is it that we don’t seem to think it can happen to us, until it does?
People are more afraid of being killed by terrorists than the real killers listed above.
What I’m talking about here is not just the abuse we submit our bodies to, with our overeating and alcohol consumption, but also our disregard for our bodies – how we use them as an instrument for our own pleasure and self-indulgent habits. These irresponsible habits are our lifestyle choices that are causing the rise in ill-health.
The fact is that this tsunami of ill-health flooding over us is bankrupting health services around the world, causing even more ill-health for those working within these overloaded systems.
If we consider this along with the comforts that are being sought by some, e.g. luxury lifestyles with yachts and holiday homes being prioritised over and above personal health and wellbeing, are we not collectively out of balance?
Moreover, in our comfortable way of choosing to live, I observe little effort is being focused on our own responsibility for the prevention of the tide of illness and disease.
The simple act of taking a moment to ponder on how we are living our lives, considering how we can best care for ourselves and others, could help us all to live in harmony together, in a greater state of true health and feeling the joy of life. And if we truly consider this, we might come to the conclusion that every person on the planet is the same as we are, no matter their colour, religion, nationality, gender, age or size.
We might also conclude that material wealth is not our true happiness, as happiness is always temporary until we get the next fix, be that a new car, a glass of wine, a great film, a sporting event, a sugary delight – they are all forms of temporary happiness.
Living a privileged life in a beautiful place may make us feel better and more deserving than others, but while we bathe in comfort we are detaching ourselves from humanity, taking part in material competition with each other, isolating ourselves instead of living together in harmony with everyone.
Ignoring the true messages our bodies are giving to us is compounding in its effects to produce an ever-sickening global population that none of us can escape, in spite of our wealth.
Inspired by the presentations of Serge Benhayon, which I feel offer a genuine way out of these worldwide health issues that are embedded in the lives of all of us.
By Christopher Murphy, Kindergarten Assistant and Universal Medicine student, Norway
 Kreftregisteret (Institution of Population Based Cancer Research) (2014) Cancer in Norway 2014. http://www.kreftregisteret.no/Global/Cancer%20in%20Norway/2014/cin2014-Special_issue.pdf
 Folkehelseinstituttet (2014) Folkehelserapporten 2014. (The health of the population report 2014, The Norwegian institute of public health). http://www.fhi.no/dokumenter/4313e1cf39.pdf