Monday, August 25, 2008

Global Happiness is on the Rise

At least according to one survey (Businessweek). Their byline reads: "The 2008 World Values Survey found that freedom of choice and tolerance—and not simply wealth—have lots to do with a rise in happiness". I would make the argument that it's wealth that allows us more freedom of choice and incentivizes us to be tolerant but either way, it's good news (though I suppose it depends on how happiness gets defined - see earlier link on Martin Seligman at TED). What the researcher said when asked what the path to happiness was:

While Inglehart does not profess to know the true secrets of happiness, he says that this most recent study has made the picture a bit clearer. In his opinion, benevolence and expressions of gratitude appear to be subtle but powerful ways to bring happiness into one's life and to extend it. Religion and solidarity in the community play a big role in this, he says, but any positive belief system can help. "Latin America seems to understand this," he says.

"In the old days I would have told you to work hard and save your money," says Inglehart. "It's different today. I just haven't nailed it down yet."

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