There’s an idea percolating up from the anthropology world that may make you rethink what makes you happy.
The idea is not new. It surfaced in the popular consciousness back in the late 1960s and helped to galvanize a growing environmental movement.
And now several books are bringing it back into the limelight.
The idea is simple: Perhaps the American and European way of living isn’t the pinnacle of human existence. Humanity hasn’t been marching — in a linear fashion — toward some promised land. Perhaps, Western society isn’t some magical state in which technology free us from the shackles of acquiring basic needs and allows us to maximize leisure and pleasure.
Instead, maybe, modernization has done just the opposite. Maybe the most leisurely days of humanity are behind us — way, way behind us.
“Did our hunter-gatherers have it better off?” James Lancester asks in a recent issue of The New Yorker.
“We’re flattering ourselves by believing that their existence was so grim and that our modern, civilized one is, by comparison, so great,” Lancester writes. To read more from MICHAELEEN DOUCLEFF, click here.