Are you happy? Really happy?
If you are from Denmark, you probably are happier than citizens of other countries.
Recently, the University of British Columbia complied its annual happiness report, and the Danes took the lead in the world.
“The top countries generally rank higher in all six of the key factors identified in the World Happiness Report,” economics professor John Helliwell wrote. “Together, these six factors explain three quarters of differences in life evaluations across hundreds of countries and over the years.”
Those factors are: A large GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy at birth, lack of corruption in leadership, a sense of social support, freedom to make life choices and a culture of generosity.
“There is now a rising worldwide demand that policy be more closely aligned with what really matters to people as they themselves characterize their well-being,” economist Jeffrey Sachs wrote in a statement when the report was released.
So the United States is No. 2? Nope. Top 10? Not a chance.
Seventeenth. Why are we so unhappy?
“Many Americans seem to be addicted to more, sooner,” Dr. Mark Golston writes for The Huffington Post. “That can lead to feeling that at any given time, no matter what they have, they always want more. And no matter how quickly they get it, they always want it sooner.
“If you think that is too simplistic, how many Americans do you know that are happy, or even OK with having less, later?”
Get rich quick. Miracle cure. Instant.
Let’s put it this way. In 2012, $20 billion was spent by consumers on diets, from books to DVDs to weight-loss foods and supplements. That’s billion with a “B” instead of increased exercise and decreased caloric intake. We want it now instead of putting the work in.
Look at it another way. Americans spend $650,000 per day on bonuses and cheats for the popular app Candy Crush Saga. Can’t pass a level? Buy your way to the next one.
Maybe it’s that drive for more immediately that makes us unhappy. Maybe it is something else. Last week we took the question to our readers, the ones who log on each week to www.timeswv.com to vote in our weekly poll question. Last week we asked “In a recent report, the United States was ranked No. 17 when it comes to happiness. What do you think makes us so unhappy?”
And here’s what you had to say:
• Relationships — 7.89 percent.
• Keeping up with the Joneses — 19.3 percent.
• Always wanting more — 33.33 percent.
• Finances — 39.47 percent.
Since most of the things that cause us so much worry and unhappiness are fleeting, for the most part, perhaps we should take a little advice from the music legend Bob Marley. “Don’t worry about a thing because every little thing is going to be alright.”
This week, let’s look at the controversial issue of medicinal marijuana. Do you think it should be legalized in the Mountain State?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
Are you happy? Really happy?
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway