Check out this interesting article that questions how happiness should be measured.
Infographic of the Day: Happiness Comes at a Price
Here are some highlights:
- “What drives all that happiness and woe? As you might have guessed, the economy has a lot to do with it.”
- “Western countries are tremendously happy, developing countries somewhat less so, and poor countries rank last.”
- “…the U.S. rates a 7.8 on the index, which is pretty happy. Germans, Italians, and French are relatively miserable among their riches, rating at around 7.1 The only rich country to fall below verdant levels of joy is Japan, which needs a therapist and a drug cocktail, stat:…”
- “The flip side of being rich and content is that you’re devouring resources at the same time. As we get rich, our carbon footprints swell, and our damage to the planet increases.”
- “…the Global Happiness Planet Index shows that no one country is truly doing great, if you take into account both how happy they are and how much they’re destroying the earth in the process…”
- “…even Nobel Prize winning economists have advocated that we start search for metrics of happiness that get away from purely economic measures.”
- “…with economic figures, growth always means long-term destruction (unless coal plants and oil disappear tomorrow, by magic). And if growth is the only thing anyone views as correlated with happiness — well, your grand kids probably won’t appreciate that so much, when the great outdoors becomes a nightmare.
- “Should the size of a country’s carbon footprint be a factor in measuring how happy it is?”
I found this to be particularly interesting because, it suggests that when we focus on our short term fulfillment, we may be happier in the moment, but ultimately might be destroying our future. How do we find the balance between enjoying our lives now, but also preparing to enjoy our lives for the future as well?