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Spending time with families gives expats happiness Prayer vital ingredient of life

In this week’s online poll, the Arab Times asked people what happiness means to them. For a majority of voters spending time with their family brought them happiness. About 37% of the voters felt so.

When the Arab Times probed deeper, respondents said that family gives purpose to life and losing sight of the real priorities in life is the cause of much grief. Others said that family is the first casualty of many expatriates, who come here leaving their families back home, to earn their livelihood. “We undergo a lot of mental stress and depression because of being separated from our families.

Those who get to live with their families don’t seem to realize the importance of this blessing, and often neglect their families.” Some respondents said that families don’t just mean spouse and children, but aged parents too. “It’s a tragedy that older citizens are left to struggle on their own in their homes, while the productive generation is living a selfish life focused just on furthering their career and bank balance. “Let’s not forget that today’s youth are tomorrow’s older citizens, and what we give our parents will come home to roost.” For 16% of the voters, happiness means prayers.

When we lose our connection with God, life loses its rudder and begins to get rocky, respondents noted. All those who supported this view felt that prayer helps them stay level headed and balanced. “Problems begin when we get too materialistic or when we put too much trust in other people. These are transient things, and are bound to let us down.

However, by placing one’s faith in God, one learns to appreciate the blessings and looks at hard times as a passing phase.”

Further respondents added that ordering one’s life around divine commandments is the true path to happiness. “Prayer alone is pointless if we don’t inculcate the values of divine laws such as avoiding bad habits and being helpful to other humans.”

17% of the voters stressed the need for becoming selfless. They voted for helping and serving humanity as the true meaning of happiness. From respondents, the Arab Times learned that people who supported this view had a spiritual bent of mind. Others argued that there is a need for balance between everything. “There will be no happiness if one prostitutes himself for the service of mankind alone. One has to divide his time between family, friends, society and oneself.

For about 14 % of the voters, doing what you feel like doing is the way to happiness. “We need freedom to pursue our passions.” Some argued that religion, politics and customs were impediments to the realization of this pure state of living, and would like to see these man-made institutions go. A fat bank balance, successful career and freedom from all responsibilities are some of the options that a very small minority voted for.

By: Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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