By Lawrence Pfeil, Jr.
These days happiness is tough thing to come by.
Given our current political divide; the vitriolic hate, xenophobia, and unmitigated lies expressed by the leadership in Washington, it’s not at all surprising. What you might find surprising is that the United States ranks 13th in the world in happiness (behind Israel, a country under constant threat of being blown off the map; a frequent target of terror attacks; in the middle of a desert.)
We chant and hashtag NO H8! RESIST! IMPEACH TRUMP! While we need to “keep on keepin on;” “fighting the good fight,” we cannot sustain ourselves on anger and outrage.
But what if today we “chose happiness” in our lives for ourselves? If we want to live to fight another day, we may not have a choice.
Denmark, the “happiest country on Earth,” has valuable lessons to teach us about being happy. In a recent CBS News report, the once “melancholy” Danes today have two unique philosophies on happiness.
“Hygge” encourages people to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. “There’s no real translation into English… It is a Danish phenomenon. And hygge, this sense of bringing light and warmth and friendship into a house, it’s trying to make things cozy and happy.”
The second uniquely Danish term is something called “The Law of Jante.” For Danes, that means living simply. Showing off wealth just isn’t their style. “It seems like in order for America to borrow from this Danish notion of happiness, Americans would have to give up things that are so prized, like exceptionalism and competitiveness…”
Even more fascinating is the 2012 documentary Happy which explores what makes people around the world truly happy. Here’s how the film is described,
“HAPPY takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.”
In only 75 minutes, Happy gives a stunning perspective on how little it takes to be “happy.” It just might change your life.
In the meantime, we present “Happy” Minions for your enjoyment!
This post is dedicated to my theOUTfront blog partner, the happiest and most optimistic person I know and may have ever met.
(Main photo via the Huffington Post)