If you were having coffee with me I would be happy to have you visit this tangle of words. It was World Happiness Day just the other day and I have a curious question to ask…. Is happiness a feeling or an expression? 🤔
What is happiness anyway? I remember one Will Smith movie titled The Pursuit Of Happiness, for a movie with such a title for the most part of it, it was a rather sad sort of flick, which I watched once and never again. One thing I liked about the title of it was how it made for a great line when one wanted to be all deep and inspirational:
"It's called the pursuit of happiness not the sit around and wait for happiness"
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that Emily Dickinson had the gist of it in her classic poem Happiness is a thing with feathers…. I can imagine my literature teacher rolling her eyes at me… Okay okay okay, its hope, hope is a thing with feathers but I think you can substitute happiness for hope and it would still make perfect sense. Kinda like saying that the secret to happiness sometimes lies in having a bad memory.
The World Happiness Report for 2022 is out and according to it, out of the 146 countries listed, Zimbabwe is at the third from last at number 144, Finland tops the list while Canada, USA and UK are at 15, 16 and 17 respectively.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the rankings include variables such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption, but the scores aren’t solely dependent on these but based on individuals’ assessments of their lives, as revealed by their answers to the single-item Cantril ladder life-evaluation questionnaire.
The Cantril Ladder Life-evaluation question asks you to think of a ladder, with the best possible life being a 10 and the worst possible life being a 0. They are then asked to rate their own current lives on that 0 to 10 scale. How would you rate your current life?
Generally African countries seem not to rate particularly well in the survey with none appearing on the list till Libya at number 86 of 146. Frankly speaking, I am a tad suspicious of who and where they get the respondents for these surveys and if it is indicative for a country.
According to the World Happiness Report FAQs the typical annual sample for each country is 1,000 people but if a typical country had surveys each year, the sample size would be 3,000…
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that they say money can’t buy happiness but I am here thinking maybe they just don’t know where to shop… and I want to be rich enough to be able to say for myself that money can’t buy me happiness… I would rather be sad in a mansion, feel me? Even our government seems excited about the new state of the art parliament building that is set to be completed by the end of March. A 140 million dollar gift from our all-weather friends the Chinese government… no strings attached… so its said.
Hopefully when they make decisions from the new parliament building they will be in a happy space and make good solid decisions, than in the old place where they were packed like peas in a pod. If I was to endure a parliament session crowded in there, I too would have likely made some crazy rulings too, like spending 140 million on a parliament building instead of… I don’t know a state of the art hospitals or maybe a power station, how about working water and sanitation?
Global fuel prices have been going up like it’s a Harry Potter Spell gone wild and naturally people have been having a laugh over it, laughter is the best medicine after all, although I am still waiting for the day I can order some Paracetamolol or Ibuproflmao from the chemist. Maybe happiness means having enough money to fill up your fuel tank.
Having gone up twice in the previous week our prices went down today by a whopping 8 cents a litre today, so there is some happiness there.
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you people were up in arms on social media over someone who made an offhand comment about how people without cars were complaining about the fuel prices. Fuel price has a domino effect which translates to a general increase in the prices of everything else, so it is not just car owners who have the monopoly on complaining about the gas prices.
Whats been happening in your neck of the woods? What makes you happy?