So Janet and I are in the bank January 3rd conducting some business, which meant a little waiting. There are two foreigners in the bank getting more and more upset. One is pushing though the line demanding that his issue be taken care of. The other’s an old codger (that is an even older codger than me) sitting next to me. He’s mumbling under his breath what a rotten place this is. But I can hear his request and it’s never gonna happen and wouldn’t happen in the US either.
At the same time I’m reading the paper and come across this article: http://beta.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/03/1774178/philippines-3rd-happiest-country-poll
Once again the Philippines is ranked among the highest countries in the world for general happiness. Of course there is nothing objective about the poll; nothing quantifiable. They simple ask people all over the world the question, “In general, do you personally feel very happy, happy, neither happy nor unhappy, unhappy or very unhappy about your life?”
Fiji once again was the happiest country. I too would be pretty damn happy in Fiji – who wouldn’t. At number two was Colombia. I’m sure there’s a joke here about happiness and cocaine intake; but I’m not gonna go there. And of course the Philippines was 3rd. Last year we were tied for 2nd with China, which this year dropped off the top ten completely. Not a good year for the Chinese economy, I suppose.
If you look at the list of the top ten there was only one 1st world country listed: The Netherlands. There’s a drug joke there too, but again – I’m not gonna go there.
The other countries in the top ten were 3rd world havens like Mexico (happy about Trump’s Wall, perhaps), Vietnam; Kazakhstan (Borat sure was happy), Papua New Guinea, Indonesia (love to go there); India (in no rush to go there), Argentina (proving that a collapsing economy has little to do with happiness). There’s a pattern here: poor places or places with a lot of dope seem pretty damn happy.
Of course poverty is not the only criteria for happiness. I mean, Iran was dead last and it’s poor as shit. Last year Iraq was the least happy. Now it’s 2nd from the bottom. Apparently cataclysmic wars are not good for general happiness; who knew.
Overall Latin America was the happiest continent. The US and Russia were literally tied with a score of +50; just one more proof of collusion between Trump and Putin 🙂
So what can we conclude? Is it merely the old adage that money cannot buy happiness? I’m sure that’s part of it but it has to be more.
I just spent the holidays in Janet’s hometown of Alcoy, Cebu. The level of poverty there (as in many places in the Philippines) is beyond the experience or comprehension of the average American. And yet the people there rang in Christmas and New Years with joy and laughter. Janet’s siblings traveled from other cities to be there with the family. Again I have no real conclusions. In the US the holidays are blamed for misery, depression and an increase in suicides. In the Philippines; well there’s an increase in people who shoot off various body parts with fireworks; but other than that everyone seems pretty damn happy.
I may not understand their happiness but I’m doing my best to share in it. My wish for the New Year is that everyone do the same!