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The Happiest Country

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 March 2017 12:00 AM GMT

As human civilization advances and we find ways of assessing more and more human attributes hitherto deemed to defy such assessment, we discover that the eagerness to to do such things stems from the realization that our efforts are geared to what works for a whole lot of people rather than for a few individuals. One such assessment is the happiest country in the world. Such an assessment must take into account a gamut of parameters that determine reasobly well what collective happiness or a sense of well-being is all about. A United tions report released on Monday mes Norway as the happiest country in the world. Norway has toppled Denmark from the number one position in this regard. Of the 155 countries assessed in the annual World Happiness Report, India ranked 122nd behind Pakistan and the poorest-of-the-poor Nepal in the global list of the happiest countries.
What are the key indicators that combine to indicate a state of collective happiness for an entire country? They include levels of caring, freedom to make life decisions, generosity, good governce, honesty, health and income. Other indicators are life expectancy, public trust (i.e., a lack of corruption in government and business) and social support. What emerges rather clearly is that our collective happiness has much to do with what people and the government do for others. Contrary to common belief, collective happiness does not stem from what we do for ourselves but rather from what is done for the well-being of others. In many Western countries, there are people who are happy to attend to complete strangers in hospitals and spend time with them. In course of time, many of them can no longer be distinguished from close relatives. Such service is prompted by a totally selfless spirit of doing good to others that contributes in a large measure to the happiness of many people. This is one of the most significant findings about how an entire society or a country finds happiness in doing good to others. There is also the important qualifier that public trust, one of the key components of collective happiness, has to do with a lack of corruption in government and business. The common experience is that corruption in government leads to a gamut of irratiol behaviour that in turn leads to denial of what is due from the government to a citizen or a group of citizens merely because the expected bribe has not been paid. In such a situation, an official can make a citizen come ten times to get what is due to him. He can make any person with a happy disposition very unhappy due to actions fuelled by corruption. What is far more significant perhaps is that Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland are the top five happy countries of the world. It is significant that three of them should be Scandivian countries and that all of them should be countries totally free from corruption.

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