Friday, January 17, 2014

May we vote for happiness in the 2014 elections

Denmark was crowned the happiest country in the world.
The UN report ranked South Africa as the 96th happiest in the world, 

or the 60th least happy, of 156 countries.

Carl Jung lists 5 conditions for happiness:

  • Good physical and mental health,
  • Good personal and intimate relationships, such as marriage, family and friendships,
  • The faculty for perceiving beauty in art and nature, and
  • Reasonable standards of living and satisfactory work.
  • A philosophical or religious point of view capable of coping successfully with vicissitudes in life.

The United Nations created the annual World Happiness Report to see which countries are happy, and why.

Happiness is also being considered as an indicator 
for the sustainable development goals, 
which will replace the millennium development goals that expire in 2015. 

The UN's 2013 happiness report said: 

"The word happiness is not to be used lightly. 
Happiness is an aspiration of every human being 
and can also be a measure of social progress."

The happiest countries have in common

  • a large GDP per capita, 
  • healthy life expectancy at birth, and 
  • a lack of corruption in leadership. 
But also essential were three things over which individual citizens have a bit more control over:
  • a sense of social support, 
  • freedom to make life choices, and 
  • a culture of generosity.