Happiness and Maple Syrup

So apparently Canada ranked 6th in the world in happiness in a study sponsored by the UN. Denmark was first. Kudos to the Danes!

Frankly, I thought we were a happier group of people.  How could we not be with our lives awash in maple syrup, hockey and such a profundity of moose?

super_moose

A whole lot of the way they measure happiness as far as I can tell is based on stuff that seems largely out of our control. Here’s a quote..

“Six key variables explained nearly 75 per cent of the variation in national scores: real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity.”

Nowhere does it mention a 60 inch plasma TV and a new season of Orange Is The New Black. I find this to be a fatal flaw in the study. In all seriousness though, there isn’t that much about our own input into the process. This is odd. What about our own POV? Does this mean that if you just take a bunch of people and put them in Denmark they would be happier? (They might, by the way, Denmark is an awesome place. “Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen…” and all that.)

But really, finding out the criteria for the study took a bit of the jam out of my donut. It left me thinking that we as individuals have very little to do with the process, which frankly, I don’t believe at all. I don’t get up in the morning and think “Our GDP per capita is particularly zesty today! I can feel the happiness swelling in my pants!”

What about how we deal with a life altering disease like cancer? Can we be happy in those circumstances? Not all the time of course, but I do believe that by supporting ourselves, finding community and having access to resources at the very least we can increase our level of resilience and maybe, just maybe, find some moments of happiness.

For more on the study check out this CBC link.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/09/08/happiness-canada-2013.html.

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