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?
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.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past
Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.
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- Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives