I heard an NPR piece today about happiness and England. It seems that the Brits are using an IPAD app to track just how happy people are, where they’re the happiest and what activities make them happy. And this has what to do with preparedness??? Trust me. I’m getting there.

A couple of decades ago, we took the kids to Disney. It was a pretty good time but the happiest place on Earth? I don’t think so. The lines were long, the prices high, the forced gaiety a little too forced. I often think about measuring and evaluating happiness. It occurs to me that even considering this is a function of two things; advertising and cheap stuff. One would not exist without the other. Prior to the age of TV, I would guess that people were not particularly concerned with how happy they were. They had to be satisfied with good relationships and meaningful work as hot tubs and flat screen TVs were decades in the future. Take away television cheap stuff to judge ourselves by (we are always found wanting BTW-that’s the point) and we would once again have to look inside ourselves for satisfaction.

Big changes are coming. Our lives will not always be defined by Madison Avenue. They will be defined by the company we keep and the work we do. Stockpile shoelaces and toothpaste, canning jars and garden seeds but don’t forget to store up some social capital and solid confidence in your ability to contribute something to the common good. It’s going to matter sooner rather than later I think.