A new age has begun, and it's one that should have come a long time ago. People in Northern Europe have lived for years a simpler less "thing" cluttered life, we Americans on the other hand, have become obsessed with the acquisition of almost everything. The idea that people can become addicted to shopping has got to say something about our attitude toward the concept of buying simply for the fun of it.
I believe the Europeans have it right. Less can definitely be more in our daily lives. Having time to read, to talk or simply think without the interruptions that haunt us in our daily lives would really be a luxury.
How about instead of a happy life, simply a contentment with who we are in our every day lives. The economy is making us lose a lot - can it also help us gain even more?