Minister of Happiness, Minister of Loneliness


Britain Prime Minister, Theresa May, recently announced the appointment of Tracey Crouch as UK’s Minister for Loneliness, a role the PM created in January. May said, “For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life”. Towards the end of last year, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, also appointed Mrs. Ogechi Ololo as the commissioner for the newly created Ministry for Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment in the state. In his defense, Okorocha claimed the people of his state were bittered hence the need to create the Ministry of Happiness, to archive happiness for them.

In the creation of these roles, one question that comes to mind is “how can these appointees fulfill their duties in this capacity?” It’s not like the cause for loneliness are insects like flies or mosquitoes one can easily get rid of using insecticides or other measures. The cause for loneliness varies amongst individuals and chief of them in Nigeria is the hardship. Nigerians are made to work twice as more to earn their daily living all because the basic infrastructure isn’t provided. In other to meet up, the average Nigerian youth works so hard to get a good life.

This causes him/her not to have time for any other thing except in the pursuit of money. Children are left in the care of domestic staffs and hardly get to see their parents because they are always busy working. In order to quell their “disturbance”, they are occupied with modern gadgets to keep them busy. The elderly ones are trying to catch up to this digitalized world as we see many of our parents signing up for Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts to keep in touch with their children, friends and the world at large.

In this modern day of advanced technology, in this modern today where life is digitalized and it is difficult to have a meaningful conversation with another without distractions from mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic gadgets. These days, life moves so fast and people are drawn more and more away from the real connection with other people and are becoming more engrossed in their own businesses.

These days, there is no time to even say “hello” to another without dashing off within the twinkle of an eye and even when we do make out time to check on others, it’s like we are on a ticking clock. We have so much on our to-do list that spending time with others has been relegated to the bottom of the priority list. We are all in a rush to make it “big” and quickly in life. Children seem to grow faster these days and the elderly can only wonder where the time flew to. The young adults are too busy to even see the time fly and they are busy trying to make a living rather than live a fulfilling life.

The truth is a majority of us are lonely….majority of us are unhappy but we always hide these in the coveralls of “work”. How about we pause awhile in this our race through life to even do a quick assessment of where we are coming from and where we are going to? A number of us are engaged in jobs we don’t even like because we have bills to pay. We go to bed at night wishing we could do what we really want but in the morning we put on this bright smile as though all is well.

Sure, life may not go the way we want; we may not always get our dreams achieved but the real sadness and unhappiness come from the realization that we didn’t even try. We don’t really need ministers of happiness or loneliness to curb our unhappiness. We can create our own happiness ourselves if only we decide to live a life with meaning and quit going through the motions. Let us stop doing things because society says we must. Let us understand the reason why we do them and do them only if we want to…only if they are okay with us.

Enough with the calling out of the government to create jobs for us. Even they are overwhelmed with the rate of unemployment in the country. Each of us has in us innate abilities and talents we can use to create that independent financial life we want; with these talents, we can create the life we want. Let us not give up after a couple of tries. Instead, let us keep at what we are good at until there is a breakthrough.

Just as the poor and middle-class individuals often hurt, so too do the rich also cry. No one has it all. No one is exempted. We all have to find out the source of our unhappiness and loneliness and tackle it from the source. At the end of the day, we find that we don’t really need tons of money to be happy but we are only genuinely and truly happy when we create this happiness for ourselves ergo, it comes from within us. If we learn to create happy lives for ourselves, we can find time to be with our families and people we love…we can create time to have actual conversations with others, we can visit friends and just chit-chat like the good old days and not through texts, calls or social media

In what ways do you overcome unhappy and lonely feelings?

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