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Wednesday, November 22, 2017


National Geographic (NG) this month featured The Search for HAPPINESS.  I will combine the essence of the 2017 World Happiness Report (2017WHR--produced by the United Nations) with NG's message, for what is more important than happiness?

Well, according to one Top Ten list, God is #1 and Happiness is way down there at #8.  It is clear, then, that happiness is a fuzzy term dependent of who is asking and, more so, who is responding.

Happiness evokes feeling good and results in a better attitude and longevity.  Plus, happy people are luckier.  Happiness is life in Purgatory.  Heaven?  There must be a lot happiness there, too.

One opposite of happiness is misery.  Save for an isolated few with severe psychological problems, most would agree that a life of happiness would be a lot better than one filled with anguish and despair.

From the 2017WHR below, the darker the green, the happier the people in that country, and the darker the red, the least happy:

NG provided the following graphic, where the larger and brighter the circle, the happier the population:

Sorry, hard to read, but the USA did not measure well on this NG purple page.  We were #14 in the UN report.  However, we dropped from #3 in 2007.  The top ten were all cold weather countries:
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland
  • Finland
  • Netherlands
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Costa Rica
  • Austria
  • USA
The bottom ten were all from Africa and the Middle East.  Bhutan, which values Gross National Happiness (GNH) over Gross Domestic Product, is at #97.  How come?  As best as I can determine, this GNH term seems to be a governmental propaganda tool to distract from some serious ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses occurring in the country.

What determines happiness?  According to the UN's 2017WHR:
  • caring
  • freedom
  • generosity
  • honesty
  • health
  • income
  • good governance
  • healthy life expectancy
  • trust (lack of corruption in business and government)
Am I happy?  Absolutely.  I walked into downtown Honolulu yesterday, bought a can of something to drink from Long's, went across the street to Marukame Udon and sat under one of those red umbrellas to have a long and leisurely lunch: 

I ordered a chicken cutlet curry with an onion bomb, and watched humanity and other assorted creatures stroll by:

The JESUS WILL JUDGE YOU warning gave me some pause, but later that day I dropped by Marukai to purchase some wagyu from Miyazaki:

Note that smaller tray of just pieces of fat costing more than $5/pound.  Otherwise, up to $99.99/pound.  Happiness is Japanese Wagyu Beef.


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