PROSPERITY CONTINUES - But Are We Really Happier?
Plain Truth Magazine
May 1969
Volume: Vol XXXIV, No.5
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PROSPERITY CONTINUES - But Are We Really Happier?
Richard H Sedliacik & George L Johnson  

Have you ever wondered why today's high standard of living hasn't produced more real happiness, more successful marriages? And why it hasn't lessened crime? There is a REASON. This article explains WHY.

   TODAY, the developed nations are experiencing the highest standard of living in their history.
   But why has this high standard of living brought us so little lasting happiness so few successful lives?

Is Wealth Happiness?

   People the world over equate material wealth with happiness. And in their pursuit of more "happiness," they have sought more and more MATERIAL POSSESSIONS a new and/or second car, a larger house, new furniture, color television. In the U.S., for example, sixteen out of seventeen homes have television sets. Collectively, Americans own over 270 million radio sets that's more radios than people!
   In 1967, over 800,000 new one-family residences were built. Also that same year, approximately 16 billion dollars were spent on new furniture and appliances. And a staggering 115 billion dollars were spent on automobiles, parts and accessories!
   If material wealth were the source of true happiness, then those experiencing a higher standard of living should be deliriously happy!
   But are they really?
   What people haven't learned is that material possessions, alone, do not produce happiness. Happiness is a state of mind. A person can be happy whether he is rich or poor if he pursues the right values and goals in life.
   People today have their goals and values all mixed up. Millions have made the acquisition of material wealth their goal in life assuming that this will result in true happiness. But has it really?
   In spite of the general increase in the standard of living throughout the Western world, there is more unhappiness than ever before.
   The nations are wealthier now, but enjoying it less!
   Let's understand. Let's take a look at the mounting problems resulting from this world's "pursuit of happiness."

Number One Social Problem

   Even though the developed nations have a higher standard of living, people still WANT MORE! Husbands and wives in their never-ending desire for more material goods have gone head over heels in debt!
   The result?
   Endless arguments and marital strife! And these in front of the children.
   Living beyond one's means and trying to "keep up with the Joneses" never made anyone happy. In fact, it has led to divorce in many cases. Statistics prove that in 90 out of 100 divorce cases, the people are head over heels in debt!
   Divorce is rapidly increasing the world over especially in the United States where it has ripped asunder nearly every third home! Hundreds of thousands of children now grow up with foster parents or no parents at all! Others are reared in unhappy homes filled with bitter family strife.
   Numerous books and magazine and newspaper articles have attacked the divorce problem from every conceivable angle. Sociologists have attempted to uncover the cause of divorce. Marriage counselors by the hundreds have used every means at their disposal to save shattered marriages from divorce.
   All of these combined influences have had little if any effect!
   Just how serious is the divorce problem? The shocking statistics answer plainly. Divorce, with all its resulting heartaches, court squabbles and homeless children, is one of the most monumental sociological problems of our time!
   The Family Service Association of America reported: "Family breakdown is fast reaching epidemic proportions and now ranks as America's number one social problem." Each year, there are upwards of one million persons divorced. The current rate is seven times higher than it was 100 years ago! And there are an estimated 100,000 desertions each year in addition to the actual recorded divorces.
   Is this real happiness?
   Because of our crazy, mixed-up marriages, and lack of parental training, many youngsters are becoming delinquents. ONE OUT OF EVERY SIX AMERICAN BOYS UNDER 18 has been taken to juvenile court for at least one offense!

Shocking Rise in Crime!

   In their ever-increasing pursuit of more material possessions, some people even turn to CRIME to acquire them. Otherwise 1,400,000,000 dollars would not have been stolen from U.S. citizens in 1,605,700 burglaries during 1967! Even white collar workers and housewives are involved.
   In spite of unprecedented prosperity, America leads the world in crime as well as divorce. There were over a HALF MILLION MORE CRIMES in the United States in 1967 than in 1966. In 1967, there were over 3,800,000 major crimes committed. That's one crime for every fifty-three citizens!
   Reported crime rose by 16% in 1967 over the previous year. And some authorities believe that THREE TIMES more crimes are committed than are actually reported to the police!
   FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover pointed out in the quarterly tabulation of crime for the first three months of 1968 that crime had risen sharply over the same period in 1967. And since 1963, all of the eight major crime categories have shown increases every year!
   Crime and lawlessness are viewed by the public as the TOP domestic problem. Crime and violence have become as much a concern as the Vietnam War. When a Gallup Poll asked, "What is the most important problem facing your community today?" crime and lawlessness were mentioned nearly twice as often as any other local problem.

The "Generation Gap"

   Along with the increase in the divorce and crime rates in our affluent society has come a widening of the generation gap. Parents have tried to provide their youngsters with MORE material possessions than they had as children. But this has not brought them closer together. Instead, the generation gap is becoming wider!
   More and more young people are becoming disillusioned with the moral standards and cutthroat competition of their materialistic-minded elders. They have decided such a life is not for them. They want something DIFFERENT! They want something exciting, novel and new!
   Hippie enclaves have appeared in every major city in the United States and in other parts of the world. Many thousands of young people have "dropped out" of society, rejected the life and standards of their parents and peers, and withdrawn to their own little world of "pot" marijuana and "acid" LSD.
   What is the significance of this new hippie subculture?
   The noted historian Arnold Toynbee has said that hippies are "a red warning light for the American way of life!"
   How right he is!
   The increases in divorce and crime are also red warning lights that something is drastically wrong with our way of life!
   Why this rise in divorce and crime in the midst of unprecedented prosperity? Why the generation gap? What is WRONG with our way of life? Why hasn't a high standard of living brought real happiness? Is prosperity actually a CURSE instead of a blessing?

Missing Right Education

   The real CAUSE of our mounting social problems and lack of happiness is NOT a higher standard of living. Increased wealth and prosperity should bring INCREASED HAPPINESS! The problem is we haven't learned HOW to rightly use and enjoy the prosperity we've been BLESSED with!
   The real reason for WORLDWIDE unrest, unhappy marriages, the spiraling rise in rampant divorce, juvenile delinquency, crime and other mounting social problems is a lack of the right kind of education! All these tragic world conditions of today have emerged as a direct result of the MISSING DIMENSION in education.
   You need to understand. It's time we wake up and realize this little-known, scarcely recognized missing dimension!
   This missing dimension itself is DUAL. There are actually TWO SPHERES of education. The first is the academic sphere. Here, the very foundation of knowledge should be taught the meaning and the purpose of life, right goals and true values. But these vitally important principles underlying all true education are MISSING from all levels of instruction today!
   Ambassador College is pioneering in FILLING this vitally important MISSING DIMENSION! Ambassador students learn the true values the meaning and purpose of life. They come to learn how to live, as well as how to earn a living!
   Students on three campuses at the university level receive a balanced and complete education. Both character development and right culture are emphasized. Right education is not of the intellect alone, but of the whole personality the whole individual. Intellectual, spiritual and moral values receive equal and balanced emphasis.
   The second part of this missing dimension in education is the home and family sphere. Education should begin in the HOME, with enlightened teaching in family relations, the sanctity of marriage, proper child rearing and respect for authority.
   In the Western world, particularly in the United States, the family system is breaking down. All too often parents ignore and neglect the proper training and teaching of their children. They are too busy with their own interests to pay attention to the needs of their children.
   Too often, therefore, children are just "raised," not reared. They grow up in a permissive atmosphere of abandon, and are not properly taught respect for authority. They are left on their own, without proper guidance, encouragement and discipline. And the problem is compounded when divorce rips homes asunder!
   The only way to establish a proper home life is to carry right education into the HOMES on subjects of family relations, the sanctity of marriage, proper child rearing and respect for authority!

Ambassador College Extension Program

   Ambassador College is also providing this MISSING DIMENSION in education to people of all walks of life through its Extension Program.
   This extensive, worldwide educational program is closing the "Generation Gap" reconciling parents and children, young people and adults. It is dosing the Knowledge and Education Gaps by disseminating to millions of HOMES the same true values taught in Ambassador College. It is being done through The WORLD TOMORROW radio broadcast and telecast, and through Ambassador College publications!
   The AMBASSADOR COLLEGE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE IS a vital part of the Ambassador College Extension Program. It is helping scores of thousands around the world to have a fuller, more successful and HAPPIER LIFE!
   Multiple thousands have received enlightening knowledge that has made their lives richer, fuller, and more happily abundant. And thousands of HOMES have been made happy, which otherwise might have long since broken up. Some of the discouraged and frustrated have been saved from suicide!
   This TRUE EDUCATION is meeting today's education crisis! You can learn all about it by enrolling in The Ambassador College Correspondence Course. There is absolutely no tuition cost to you. The Course is FREE as an educational service in the public interest. Your enrollment has been paid for by others who are voluntarily having a part in helping to disseminate this vital knowledge worldwide.
   The first three lessons of this exciting course will show you the real reasons behind today's student rebellion and campus chaos. It will show you where this present threat to civilization is leading us. You'll read about the history of education and how it ties in with present-day campus troubles. And most important, your studies will show you what can and will be done to SOLVE this, and other mounting world problems now threatening the existence of mankind!

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Plain Truth MagazineMay 1969Vol XXXIV, No.5