The Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice, in conjunction with the Oak Park Public Library, is sponsoring a film that addresses the impact of economic practices on our happiness. While we have become significantly more affluent in the U.S. in the past 55 years our happiness with our lives peaked in 1956. The film takes on particular relevance in the light of the "Occupy Wall Street" (or "We are the 99%") demonstrations that are occurring throughout the nation. The film starts out by showing dramatic images of the 3 crises that we are currently facing . . .
an environmental crisis
an economic crisis, and
a crisis of the human spirit
Join the Conversation
Join the conversation at 2pm on Sunday about the ideas presented in this film and how we can make a difference locally.
"What the Happiness Balance Sheet Looks Like"
by Sue Jackson (www.newmatilda.com)
"By means of compelling footage and input from experts juxtaposed with the views of ordinary people from all around the world, the film builds a strong case for the destructive nature of globalisation at the personal, national and international levels. For example, at a personal level, brainwashing by advertisers, which glamorises the lives of a minority in the West, promotes feelings of inadequacy in everyone else, with the result that many people pursue unattainable material goals and amass debt — which further fuels depression. And at the global level the movement of the dispossessed from small farms that have been taken over or made unworkable by big business to the cities, where unemployment is rife and living conditions appalling is a huge and rapidly-growing problem. A strength of the film is that it grapples with some of the key arguments advanced by the proponents of the necessity and indeed inevitability of globalisation."
"So if globalisation is the problem, what is the solution? In a word, localisation. Community gardens, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, Slow Food, food swaps, the 100-Mile Diet movement, transition towns, ecovillages, goods exchanges, trash recycling — local initiatives are burgeoning. The documentary is full of examples of local innovations and highlights the numerous benefits they bring to individuals. The Economics of Happiness is particularly successful in making a clear link between the personal rewards of going local and its economic benefits for the wider community."
"Localisation is a systemic, far-reaching alternative to corporate capitalism," the film's director, Helena Norberg-Hodge says. "Fundamentally, it’s about reducing the scale of economic activity. That doesn’t mean eliminating international trade or striving for some kind of absolute self-reliance; it’s simply about creating more accountable and more sustainable economies by producing what we need closer to home."