Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oddly Happy

An unconventional mix of circumstances makes for the happiest country in the world. John Carlin's article begins with what would have otherwise been a catastrophic catalog of woes except that it is not:

Highest birth rate in Europe + highest divorce rate + highest percentage of women working outside the home = the best country in the world in which to live. There has to be something wrong with this equation. Put those three factors together - loads of children, broken homes, absent mothers - and what you have, surely, is a recipe for misery and social chaos.

Research shows that you don't have to live in a tropical paradise to be happy and money can't necessarily buy it. Even if you don't live in a particularly happy country, you can pursue happiness on your own - it is "understandable, obtainable and teachable" requiring 15 hours and equaling one 1 credit.

John Carlin concludes his essay on Iceland with words of wisdom for the rest of us :

Partly by dint of travel, partly by accident, Iceland, we agreed, was a melting pot that had contrived to combine humanity's better qualities, offering a lesson for the rest of the world on how to live sensibly and cheerfully, free from cant and prejudice and taboo.

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