Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
Because of the way they choose to look at life.
A lot of people associate ‘quality of life’ to material things – a big house, lots of money, jewelry, fancy cars, etc. Those things are a measure of ‘quality of living’. Not ‘quality of life’.
I have seen both sides of the coin among people living in similar living conditions, but the way the scales are tipped are interesting. The more number of happier people, for some odd reason, are the ones who don’t have as much as those who carry 5 credit cards and drive around in swanky convertibles. You would find very few disgruntled people among them. And it’s the other way round for the uber affluent crowd – most of them are irritated and unhappy. It’s only a very small percentile that (at least) appear to be genuinely happy with what they have.
A poor man is a happy man if he comes home to a loving wife and adorable children. The children are genuinely excited if their father has brought them a packet of sweetmeats from the baker nearby. The wife is happy as long as the fire in her kitchen is burning bright. They are happy with the littlest of things. A free soap that came along with the packet of washing powder. An unexpected holiday. The children faring well at school. They live a more peaceful and content life.
Now think of the opposite scenario as is seen in most urban households today. The father is busy with his business trips, the mother is in her own world with her party circle, the children are being taken care of by the maids and when they grow up, they drift away into their own worlds of friends and partying. The father wants a better car to have a better position in society, the mother wants new diamond jewelry to show off to her friends, the kids’ demands soar sky high – vacations to foreign places, latest gadgets, branded clothes…it never ends. Everyone is perpetually looking for something more…thereby remaining perpetually dissatisfied.
Now think who has a better quality of life?
The poor man is definitely happier despite his several shortcomings. And the rich man has much to achieve in comparison to the poor man.
The poor man is content with what he has and makes the most of it. The rich man always aims for something that his neighbor/competitor doesn’t have, and remains continually discontent.
His family is the center of his universe for the poor man, and the bonding between the couple and their children is something that will stand the test of time and tide. The lifestyle he has created is his universe for the rich man, and his family members are continuously demanding that the lifestyle be bettered and indirectly threaten to move elsewhere where they would get the lifestyle they seek if he is unable to provide it to them.
The poor man smiles when he is happy and cries when he is sad as he doesn’t have an image to maintain in front of the society. The rich man’s smiles when he is happy and smiles when he is sad because he has an image to maintain in front of society.
So who is living a real life and who is living a staged life?
That’s what determines the true quality of the life that one is living.