You know the old saying that “money can’t buy happiness”, and happiness is the most sought-after thing in life for most of us. Happiness is even embedded in our constitution, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. So, the question is just what does bring on happiness.
Obviously, money is not the answer so what is? To answer that question we need to find the happiest people in the world and ask them that question. In the March 30, 2018 edition of The Week magazine, they identified Finland, closely followed by Norway and Denmark as the happiest people. That just doesn’t make sense? For much of the year, Scandinavia has few hours of daylight and temperatures far below zero! So, what makes them the happiest people on earth?
I know all the Scandinavian countries are for the most part socialist. Does having universal healthcare, free education, abundant infrastructure make them happy? I’m sure it does but the happiest? I know the very idea of happiness is hard to quantify. That same study shows the US sunk from 14th to 18th last year. Given our current political environment, I’m shocked it didn’t tank further.
Ok, let’s get to it. Social psychologists tell us we are social creatures. Much of our happiness as stated in the aforementioned article, flows from connections to other people, our sense of community and joint purpose. (I think that is the key). Danes have a word for this “hygge” I guess that matter more than wealth or GDP.