If there is a phrase that resonates throughout the world regarding the state of Jamaica’s happiness, the above statement would indicate our world class position. Well, so I thought!
We own the area code of bliss!
When I saw the headline of the survey, The World’s Happiest Countries, I just figured we would be getting a Bolt-like jolt of new recognition.
The study was conducted by the University of Michigan, one of my alumnus school. I just figured the stars were all aligned! Boy do we need some good news to change it up, given our global economic circumstances!
You can then imagine my horror when we did not even place or show!
This genius group measures the happiness of individuals by two different means.
The first is to simply ask them how “happy” they are.
The second is to ask them how “happy” they are, and also how “satisfied” they are.
The results are then combined to arrive at a measure of their “subjective well-being,” a term generally considered synonymous with happiness.
Now for the results:
Ranking of the World’ Happiest Countries
4. El Salvador
5. Puerto Rico
Ranking of Countries by Subjective Well Being
1. Puerto Rico
We did not make the list. No happiness Olympics for us!
Should we be just act mature and ignore it or should we give them a piece of our mind (remember now the happy piece).
Well, before you respond, let me share some context of these researchers.
Here is a summary statement I took from their website.
“Happiness is not only important to our personal and societal lives, it is important to our global community. Unhappiness breeds wars and terrorism. Countries who unjustly attack other countries are doing so because they are not happy with certain international realities. Terrorists who attack individuals and populations are deeply dissatisfied with various social, political, religious and/or economic realities. Very happy countries would not wage unjust wars. Very happy individuals would not commit acts of terror.
Why is happiness so important?
As individuals and as societies, happiness is both our highest goal and an extremely effective means of achieving many of our other cherished goals. Both as individuals and as a planet, happiness is our ultimate reason for living. Happiness is really all there is and all there ever will be; all else is only a means to happiness.”
Well, having more than one study may help to give some balance. Here is a report from a British study completed in 2006 that created the first world happiness map.