At the bottom is a link to a fascinating column I found today by David Brooks in the New York Times called the Haimish Line. It is a Yiddish word that suggest warmth, domesticity and unpretentious conviviality.
I suggest you read the column, but he starts out by saying that in a safari in Africa, his family stayed in seven tents. The simple camps were friendly warm and familiar. The more elegant ones were colder.
He talks about Comfort Inns with the free breakfasts where people chat at the waffle machine. At the four-star hotels, they are quiet. He mentioned a book called "The Lost City'' about life in an old densely packed Chicago neighborhood where kids ran from home to home and people hung out on stoops. They moved to the suburbs and didn't know their neighbors.
He says on vacations we think of the Where. But when we come back we treasure the memory of the Who -- people you met in faraway places. And he links to an article on research on happiness that is worth reading. It says you should buy experiences instead of things, many small pleasures instead of a few big ones. Pay now for things you can look forward to and enjoy later.
If you click on the link, it says if money doesn't make you happy, then you probably aren't spending it right. It says rich people have better toys, better nutrition, more free time and better jobs but they don't tend to be a lot happier than people who have less because they don't spend it right. The things they think will make them happy often don't. For example, they say you can spend a lot of money on a new hardwood floor and it soon is just the floor but the memory of seeing a cheetah at dawn on a safari continues to provide delight.
The quality of our social relationships is a strong determinant of our happiness. You tend to be happier giving money to a food bank than spending it on yourself.
It also says that while people who have sex are happier than those that don't, it says the optimal number of sex partners in a 12-month period is one. It says that multiple partners are occasionally thrilling, but regular partners are regularly enjoyable.
And that people who enjoy the mundane joys of daily life are happier than those that don't. Which is why rich people don't get to enjoy small pleasures.
I could go on and on about this topic but you can read the link and then click on the link in the story for more details. And this whole topic of happiness may not interest you as much as it does me. Let me know your thoughts.
FD (I suggest you click on the following link and then to the link in the story)