Friday, January 17, 2014

10 Happiest Countries in the World

All kinds of lists about happiest countries, best places to live, etc, get published every year.  Depending on the criteria, you will see different countries on it. I like this one because it features mostly Latin American countries where I have lived or visited, and it confirms what I saw with my own eyes.

Here's the List:

10. Guatemala
9.  Venezuela
8.  Nicaragua
7.  Panama
6.  Jamaica
5.  El Salvador
4.  Belize
3.  Colombia
2.  Vietnam
1.  Costa Rica

Why are people in these poor countries among the happiest in the world?  Here's my opinion:

* People there don't engage in constant narcissistic self-referential auto-fellatio.
* They view popular culture for what it is: Entertainment and not lifestyle guidance and life philosophy
* They don't cry discrimination if their lifestyle isn't reaffirmed by everyone else every five minutes.
* They don't base their happiness on the latest toy, luxury item or gadget.
* They see politics for the corrupt snake pit that it is, and they're not waiting for a politician to deliver them happiness.
* Consumerism is not yet rampant in these places. I remember walking through a Safeway after returning to the US from Peru and being dumbstruck by the revelation that our grocery stores have a whole aisle dedicated to just snacks
* They know how to make their own fun.

And, finally, what I believe to be the most important factor...

* Close-knit families and communities.

World's Top Ten Happiest Countries
Where Life has Meaning:  Poor, Religious Countries

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