An article by Arthur C. Brook for the New York Times Sunday Review highlighted what might have been the cause of our unhappiness...or rather the secret to happiness. In the article, Arthur C. Brooks wrote that for decades, psychologists have been compiling a vast literature on the relationships between different aspirations and well-being. The bulk of the studies point toward the same important conclusion: People who rate materialistic goals like wealth as top personal priorities are observed to be more anxious, more depressed with tendency to drug abuse. They also tend to be more vulnerable to physical ailments than those who set their sights on intrinsic values.
In Arthur C Brooks' opinion, the problem actually stems from dissatisfaction — the feeling that nothing has full flavor, leading us to want more. Despite the craving for intense experience and sastifaction, we are actually unaware of what we seek. Without a great deal of reflection and spiritual hard work, the likely 'solution' to accessing happiness seem to be material things, physical pleasures or favor among friends and strangers. Arthur C Brooks' philosophical advise for us is to love people and use things and not the other way round. This requires a concerted and conscious effort to condemn materialism.
You may read the full article on The New York Times Sunday Reveiw