July 1st, 2008 19:36 EST
Denmark, Not America, Is The Happiest Nation In The World
"Despite the anxieties of these times, happiness has been on the rise around the world in recent years, a new survey finds.
The upbeat outlook is attributed to economic growth in previously poor countries, democratization of others, and rising social tolerance for women and minority groups.
Denmark is the happiest nation and Zimbabwe the most glum"
Quotation from LiveScience.Com
Americans enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, so why isn`t the most powerful and wealthy country in the world the happiest place on earth? What lessons in achieving bliss can we learn from Denmark?
FIRST LESSON: RELIGION IS AN IMPEDIMENT, AND NOT A ROAD TO HAPPINESS.
"According to official statistics from April 2008, 82.0% of the population of Denmark are members of the Lutheran state church, the Danish National Church (Den Danske Folkekirke), also known as the Church of Denmark."
Quotation from Wikipedia.Com
This statistic is misleading, Denmark is a post-Christian society with very few of its citizens attending church on a regular basis. The Lutheran church has negligible influence on how the citizens of Denmark live their lives.
According to a 2005 study by Zuckerman, Denmark has the third highest proportion of atheists and agnostics in the world, estimated to be between 43% and 80%.
It`s a stereotype that agnostics and atheists are glum individuals mad at the world and at God, when they live in societies where they are not scorned or persecuted they are quite happy.
Americans would be better off eschewing the sermons of Pat Robertson and James Dobson and going to the lectures of renowned atheists.
SECOND LESSON: WE SHOULDN`T FOIST DEMOCRACY ON OTHER COUNTRIES.
I`d rather live under a democracy than any other type of government, but some countries have no desire for democracy (Iraq) and others (Denmark) do quite well under a constitutional monarchy.
"The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. As stipulated in the Danish Constitution, the monarch is not answerable for his or her actions, and his or her person is sacrosanct. The monarch formally appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and other ministers."
Quotation from Wikipedia
Some have anointed Sen. Barack Obama as the Messiah, but if we aren`t quite ready to accept that he`s the Son of God, we should at least proclaim him king once he wins the general election. Obama can summarily dismiss any elected public official who isn`t down with his agenda of change and hope. It would be Morning in American again, and peace, hope and happiness would prevail.
THIRD LESSON: A COUNTRY THAT HAS A LAISSEZ-FAIRE ATTITUDE TOWARD MARIJUANA IS A HAPPY SOCIETY.
We should imitate Denmark and make weed freely available, so that our citizens can be happy and at peace with themselves and with society.
"Israel just attacked Iran and gas went up to $10.00 a gallon? Shill out dude, it`s all good. Now pass me that fat a** joint."
FOURTH LESSON: SAME-SEX MARRIAGES ARE GOOD FOR SOCIETY.
Denmark legalized gay marriages in 1989, and contrary to the ravings of televangelists it didn`t lead to moral decay and the breakdown of society.
FIFTH LESSON: NATIONAL HEALTH CARE IS A GOOD THING.
Denmark has national health care, no wonder it`s such a happy place, people don`t have to worry about getting sick and not being able to afford health care.
The results of this survey should serve as a humbling and learning experience for proud Americans. We have a lot to learn from other countries, especially Denmark.