Categories: Blog

Anna van Oers


It seems that you are no longer allowed to be happy in the Netherlands today. After all, there is so much injustice in the world; we are all destroying nature, there is a lot of inequality and there are war situations in too many places.

And that is precisely the problem, because if we all think that we are not allowed to enjoy the things we do have, we become very unhappy and what do you think attracts that?! Not nice things anyway. In addition, I believe that we owe it to the people who are not so well off. That may sound strange, but who or what are we helping by all of us complaining here? No one at all! In fact, we send a constant signal of dissatisfaction. A dissatisfaction that someone with significantly fewer resources will not be able to understand.

Of course we have to think about things that could be done differently. The most wonderful new discoveries arise from this need, but to only show the negative side of all the fun things does not seem to me to be the solution. I felt this thought very strongly when I lived in a less prosperous part of the Kingdom.

There is so much whining in the Netherlands! If you live in an environment where a large group of the population is significantly less fortunate, but makes the best of it and enjoys the little things in life, then the dissatisfied attitude of the Dutch really stands out. Although this attitude comes from a feeling of empathy. In the Netherlands people seem to think that this is the only correct attitude, another is not possible and not desirable, because this would imply that we have no empathy. To me, this attitude comes across as a real lifestyle disease. We should all be ashamed of ourselves, because through this imposed dissatisfaction we create a society that no longer sees what it has. In my view we always have a choice, even though something sometimes seems like a ‘non’ choice.

What are we currently teaching our children in the Netherlands? That things will never be okay again, that things are going very badly in the world. What happened to our natural trust in the universe, yin and yang? What happens to an entire generation where this trust is continually undermined? Yes, we have to be alert, yes we have to think about the environment, yes we have to look at how we can assist and empower people who are less fortunate, so that their situation improves, but please let us be careful not to let ourselves be dragged into a mudslide of pessimism and dissatisfaction, because that is what will destroy us and not help anyone. I believe that with the same wish, but a different approach and attitude, we can achieve better results.

In any case, it will make us all a lot happier, because no one has ever been inspired and benefited from such a melancholy attitude!