Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The pursuit of happiness.

We all thought that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. But if we are in search of human bliss, then where is the happiest place on earth?

You might expect that place would be a tropical paradise with warm sand and soft breezes. Or a Mediterranean village with sun-kissed vineyards. Or the United States -- land of the free and home of the brave.

For the nth time according to the Social Scientist survey, Denmark get the distinction as the place where people are happiest. It is followed closely by Finland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway and last on the top ten list is Belgium. Noticed that the US is not even in the top ten.

Question. If Scandanavian countries are so happy, why do they have the worlds highest suicide rate? Or is it because of their culture? Because these people are so modest and that people in other countries might rate themselves lower on the happiness scale because they want more of life?

I had an impression that people who live in warmer countries seemed a lot happier, more open, warmer and friendly. Or maybe they keep the sadness inside while westerners keep their happiness bottled up inside. What is the definition of happiness, anyway?

Wow, even Ireland is number 5, until the hangover kicks in, Hahaha! I can not believe Ireland is there, with the division, the lack of employment, etc…. just goes to show happiness is an attitude. Hmm, I wonder even what good food and a good night’s sleep has to do with cultural happiness.

What is a happy place? It is very subjective question. There can be as many happy places on this Earth as there are people. Everyone, no matter what their circumstances, has the potential to find a happy place.

Or is happiness even a place? To many people happiness is an activity like playing a sport or a game, watching television, or reading a book. Happiness is a state of being. Maybe happiness is as simple as having a bite of chocolate as it contains a chemical that the brain uses to create a sense of well-being.

Are you happy at where you are living now? Has your country provided you with the basic security necessary to make you happy? I am just curious.

Unbelievable, no Asian country... damn!


Mimi said...

Hi Odette!
I am very happy with where I live!
When I travel, I always get homesick and am so happy to be back home. How about you, are you happy with where you live?
I think that we are each responsible for our own happiness, if I don't "want" happiness, I will not achieve it.

living_with_ba said...

My happy place? Being in bed, with a cuddle from Darla and my lavender stuffed rabbit, Robby who goes in the mircrowave to be warmed up, whilst watching NCIS...that's my happy place and I go there every night :)

As for my country, I feel let down by our health service, and government, but I'm not alone in that. At least I have some health care and a roof over my head, which is more than some.


Looking at the list it appears to be countries that are Western, green countries(meaning scenery).
We have the high suicide rate for young people, over represented by Maori. So its properly the Europeans here who rate on the happiness scale. We are an extremely active country focused on many outdoor pursuits. Rock-climbing,caving,water sports, hiking, camping, rugby etc. Unfortunately this isnt as appreciated by those who cannot pursue those events due to finances or health. We have a beautiful country with spectacular scenes and balanced hot and cold weather.
I have found people from hotter countries are more relaxed and chilled out, things move slower yet in general people are happier. maybe the happiness scale is based on financial aspects. In general if a country isnt so financially well off then people are rated unhappy on that, rather than a spiritual or family based reality.

Tracey said...

I'm happy with my new home.....But the state of our country leaves a lot to be desired! The health care system is totally crap, The government is total crap....oh I could go on and on...........!

Odette said...

yes iam happy where i live. i don't think race matters when rating people's happiness as happiness is equally available to people of any race. it is just the mind set, i guess.

Odette said...

thats wonderful that you had a niche you can draw joy from. it's easier to be happy when you don't have high expectation. i live simply too and find joy from simple things.

Odette said...

yes some people couldn't be crass enough to say that money buys happiness. but they do think that 20 percent more money would make them a little happier.
in fact i think the younger generation would agree that its very important that they become very well off financially.
although absence of wealth breeds misery, having it is no guarantee of happiness either. there is no need to envy the rich. happiness is less a matter of getting what we want than wanting what we have.
of course it's a given that people from richer countries are able to feed their senses better than those from poorer countries, but that aside, both are equal.

Odette said...

i am happy with your new home too!
you havent showed me the guest room yet... hahaha!

Sid Brechin said...

Living in Canada I can guess why Scandinavian countries could have high suicide rates. My personal theory is it happens when they are given the choice. Shovel the snow or kill myself. Surprised it hasn't caught on here in Canada. After all it seems like a "no Brainer". and I don't mean that in an insulting way.

Angry American said...

Happiness eh?
Don't get me started. Everybody who follows my blog already knows where I stand on many issues. Not much left for me to say. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. So, I'm just gonna hush up.

joy oh said...

i wonder what criteria were used by the survey to measure happiness at a country level. i understand the bhutan rates rather high in the people's happiness index. so does the philippines. or are we on a different page?


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