The first ever World Happiness Report has been made public and states that our best chance at a contented life is to pack up and move to Scandinavia.
Is it possible to measure the happiness of the world's population?
The report collated data from several different happiness measurement exercises worldwide to create a "life evaluation score", which took in not just wealth but also social factors such as political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption as well as personal criteria including good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and having a stable family life.
It found that while "the happiest countries" tend to be wealthy countries, in these countries, GDP tends to play less of a defining role in how happy citizens are as compared to poorer countries. Instead, quality of life as opposed to quantity of money is important. As the report states: "At work, job security and good relationships do more for job satisfaction than high pay and convenient hours."
Malaysia is two-thirds above the rest. We are supposedly the world’s 51st happiest country, a spot over Thailand but way below Singapore’s position of 33rd.
The report reflects a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness and absence of misery as criteria for government policy. It reviews the state of happiness in the world today and shows how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness.
The report also listed a number of practical suggestions for governments to promote happiness among their citizens, including helping people meet their basic needs, reinforcing social systems, implementing active labour policies, improving mental health services, promoting compassion, altruism and honesty, and helping the public resist hyper-commercialism.
This means that there is now high world-level support for the demand that governments pay more attention to the happiness of their peoples when they form their policies. This is not, we emphasize, a matter of following the whims, fads, and consumer urges of the population. These do not, according to the evidence, lead to happiness. It is, rather, a matter of helping societies to find a path to what really matters more deeply and lastingly for well-being
We need to promote and advance the policies to prioritise the ideas and practices to attain higher levels of Human Happiness in Malaysia. After all we say that we are a Blessed Country. This is right, as we are fortunately free of natural disasters, we have considerable natural resources and plenty of land for habitation and cultivation. We are blessed with a multiracial, multi-religious and multicultural society, where our rich diversity can be our strength and attractiveness.
Note: Just happy to be in Malaysia. Home sweet Home!