How do we measure happiness? No one for sure has an answer. But people still relentlessly attempt to make some form of quantitative measure to gauge happiness. Since a quantitative measure has to be effectively tangible in some form or other, the most obvious measure revolves around wealth. Whether such measures have any real significance is debatable. Most cynics will discount such questionable “quantitative” approach. But, it is still interesting to have an insight into what happiness may entail. The Sustainable Development Solutions Network attempted to measure the general happiness of citizens in 158 countries across the globe. Here are the top 15 countries on the list.
Watch the animated presentation by Business Insider here. Virtually all the “happy” people comes from Europe and the western-bloc countries. Apparently, no Asian country made it to the top 15 list. Poor Asians (no pun intended here), why are you so unhappy? Perhaps it is just another classic case of using a western-style value way of measuring happiness. The qualifiers used in the survey are:
- GDP per capita ($)
- Social support ($)
- Health life expectancy ($ related)
- Freedom to make life choices (what,how, freedom to have free sex, abortion?)
- Generosity (hmm still $)
- Perception of corruption (oops still $, who pays and who gets)
- Everything else (aha, what does this mean?)
The survey doesn’t mean anything, or does it? Will freedom to have free sex, pornography, abortion, homosexual sex etc. lead to more happiness. Most of the countries in the top 15 list probably have the highest divorce and abortion rates. Many of the young ones have no security of a wholesome family home to go to. Yet, they think they are happy. Will having more a higher GDP per capita result in more happiness when the wealth is concentrated in the hands of 1% of the people? Corruption – some call it commission fees, others political lobbying. It is how you perceive it.
So are you happy? Don’t worry too much if you are not in the list. So long as you are healthy, have a loving family and real friends, plus a decent shelter and food provisions and are not in deep debt, consider yourself happy. Some people never had happiness before, they do not know how to measure happiness.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.