Wednesday, 18 May 2016 4:00 pm

“What Makes for a Good Life?” This was the title of a (TED) talk that a friend of mine sent me the link to. My friend is one of those people that anyone would look and conclude he has it all, the looks, a gorgeous partner and family, nice home, good health, money, everything that is supposed to make a good life! The talk had almost 9 million views. So, besides my friend, there are many more people out there searching for the “good life”!

The Presenter talked about a survey that asked the Millennial what their major life goal was; 80% said it was to be rich, another 50% also wanted “fame”. Fame and money, what a surprise!!!

The presenter went on to cite the on-going 75-year “The Harvard Study of Adult Development” Study that has tracked the lives of 724 men, from their teenage to-date. 60 of the original participants (in their 90’s) are still alive; recently, more than 2,000 children of the original 724 men’s children have been added to the study participants. The Study was divided into two groups: one included those just starting at Harvard College and the other comprised young boys from some of the poorest, disadvantaged families and communities in Boston. The men went on to become factory workers, brick- layers, doctors, lawyers, rich, not so rich, one who became the president of the United States, some became alcoholics, some with mental health issues, etc. The Study was very extensive, looking at all aspects of the groups’ lives, families, social environment and even their medical histories.

Interestingly the Study’s lessons learned (about “good life”) have nothing to do with wealth, fame or working harder. The clearest lesson is about relationships, social connections, and quality of relationships. Study has found that good relationships and physical social contact keep people happier and healthier (in body and mind).

Was I surprised by the findings of this prestigious, long running Harvard Study? Absolutely not! Good connection between people is the cornerstone of the teachings of the ancient Wisdom of Kabbalah. Kabbalah puts it like this:

For a system to be correctly connected, all parts of the system must be in mutual relationships between them and in harmony, where all are concerned about the well being of the entire system and nobody is just concerned about him/herself. When people come to such a connection between them, they begin to feel they are in harmony with all their surroundings, the whole of creation and the nature itself. Kabbalah refers to attaining a harmonious, mutual connection between people as “love”.

I think the lessons learned from the Harvard Study are pretty much in concurrence with what Kabbalah has been saying for thousands of years! It’s all about attaining the good connections between us!!

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