In a recent poll by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) the happiest citizens in the world — out of 140 countries polled — are in Europe, northern Europe to be exact. To read details about the questions used in the poll, click this link: ABC News: Business & Economy. Where did the self-proclaimed mightiest “land of opportunity” nation rank? The United States did not even crack the Top 10.
The OECD found that the health of the nation’s economy was a major influence on the pollees, such as the current unemployment rate. A 2005 article written by Dr. Tony Delamothe and published in the British Medical Journal reported that “individuals typically get richer during their lifetimes, but not happier. It is family, social and community networks that bring joy to one’s life, according to Delamothe.“ Delamothe’s research included Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Another very significant influential factor was the citizen’s hourly balance between work and leisure. The poll showed that “While Scandinavian countries boast a high GDP per capita, the average workweek in that part of the world is no more than 37 hours. In China, which got a low score of just 14.8, the workweek is 47 hours and the GDP per capita is just $3,600.“
Before Americans typically begin screaming and quickly pointing the finger, it is time that the deconstructing segregating mentalities — that are often based in medieval conservative-elitist ideologies — be dropped all together and a more GLOBAL humanitarian tolerant mentality be embraced. How critical is this self-examination? Easy….because on a global comparative scale the United States falls short and well behind the rest of the world in too many categories! Whether America likes it or not her once arrogant image of herself as the “beacon to the world” by Lady Liberty in New York harbor, needs to be much more inclusive than globally exclusive. Gone is the age when Americans are immune to the world’s brilliance and problems across two oceans.
Here is an idea: instead of constantly considering ourselves proud Americans, let’s consider ourselves human beings from planet earth that has OTHER 6.8 billion humans existing on it as well….whom ironically are doing better and are much healthier and happier. Happiness, brilliance, or righteousness is not exclusive to just one continent, let alone one nation or ideology. Tunnel-vision is a very risky game when entering narrow railroad tunnels and the status of trains (other nations) are unknown. By the way, who are the other happiest nations that have social-political methods for America to learn from, or model?
#1 – Denmark, #2 – Finland, #3 – Netherlands, #4 – Sweden, #5 – Ireland, #6 – Canada, #7 – Switzerland, #8 – New Zealand, #9 – Norway, #10 – Belgium
Where did the United States rank? According to LifeScience.com, the U.S. comes in at #12. Other studies (Gallup Survey) have America coming in lower. The majority of the unhappiest nations are found on the African continent. One particular area of interest; notice that of the Top 10 nations listed, it begs at least one question, “What type of healthcare systems do they have?” Hmmmmm.
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