I start 2010 with a strange feeling of contentment. is this about maturity or motherhood? its something i've felt in much greater doses since i was pregnant with my first child, and perhaps becoming a mum has altered my body chemistry forever. i certainly hope this sense of well being continues. i've not been without problems during this time, but as someone who has always fretted endlessly about most decisions, big and small, i've found that i've had a clearer perspective.
Now i have two children, and my mother and sister have said i'm "nicer" when i'm pregnant. i feel a certain "you can't touch me" bubble around me, so i can smile zenlike as chaos reigns down around me.
I guess deep down i think perspective is very important to how you deal with life. some people will always see themselves as victims of circumstance. lets be clear here: some people do have better lives than others. i must be in the very top percentage of quality of life for people around the globe. i feel lucky, in a non-religious sense i feel "blessed". i have my family, my health, my job, my house. so do many people i know, and yet it doesn't stop them feeling dissatisfied. compare yourself to the majority of people in the world and you'll probably find you're very well-off comparitively.
That said, i'm sure that there any plenty of people with few of my luxuries, living in conditions i would see as basic, that use their capacity for happiness to the full. i'm sure we each have capacity for happiness, but maybe it varies. i've known people who didn't know how to be happy, and i'm sure thats an inherent limitation.
BUT just because people can be happy living in poverty, it doesn't mean poverty is ok. the problem with poverty is in its unjustifiable inequality, nothing to do with people's states of mind. so acknowledging that happiness is possible in the direst of material circumstances is not an acceptance of poverty.