Happiness comes with showing gratitude. Politicians are unhappy, therefore politicians should show more gratitude when exposed for travel rorts.
Being a politician is no fun
Being a politician is not so much as a job description as it is a lifestyle choice – and not a very healthy one at that. Sure, you get to make decisions (sometimes), but by and large you will be criticised by everyone constantly for everything you do, and don’t do. There is no such thing as a weekend or days off, and if you’re really unlucky you will get done for travel rorts if you try to squeeze in some free time in between trips.
So being a politician is really a profession with low job satisfaction, but there is a scientifically tested Jedi Mind Trick that all politicians could do to make themselves happier – gratitude.
This is not some passive aggressive (or aggressive aggressive) statement that all politicians are bastards and should be thankful for what they’ve got… bastards. Nor is it a airy fairy lets all be good to one another and play with the unicorns under the raindrop tree. There is actually a body of research that supports an association between instigating feelings of gratitude and an overall sense of well being. In this context, “gratitude” is taken to be a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation of the things you find valuable and meaningful.
The good news is that this also applies to ordinary folk as well. If you deliberately find opportunities to have feelings of gratitude for your state of being and those around you in a non-bitter and twisted kinda way, you will start to feel happier yourself. e.g. the next time the someone with BO sits next to you on the bus, don’t get disgusted, feel gratitude that at least it’s not Justin Beiber.
So to all the politicians out there currently being harassed for being a bunch of hypocrites on the issue of claiming travel entitlements, don’t get defensive about why you misled the Department of Finance – you should feel gratitude instead.
Be grateful you aren’t a Centrelink recipient since the claiming entitlements by welfare recipients is far more stringently enforced and the penalties are quite devastating for those on low incomes. Be grateful that you aren’t Peter Slipper and being investigated by the Australian Federal Police for claiming taxi vouchers for less than the cost of the amount you’ve been claiming to go to a wedding, even though you were the ones to take the high moral ground and insist that he resign from Parliament. Be grateful that you got to attend the wedding of Australia’s richest person in the first place – I’m sure the catering would have been awesome!