Archive for March 2nd, 2008

A survey says that the Danes are the happiest people in the World. I wonder how they measure that – but well, it made me wonder. I am Danish (becoming faroedanish ­čśÇ ) but am I happy? Guess I am. I have one or two (or three) things to say about it, but to understand what I’m talking about, you should watch these 12 minutes about that survey:

I’m happy because I am not worried – as a Dane, I don’t have to work a lot and still have long vacations. Health care is free. School/education is free (and as they mention in 60 minutes here below, I’m actually paid for studying!), and if I get unemployed, the municipality I live in would pay me an amount of money every month, to still keep a high standard of living.

I think they are right – Danes in general, have realistic expectations to life. Happiness is NOT about materialistic stuff – are you happy if you own a bigger boat than your neighbour? No – a Dane would never see it like that, he/she would rather say “I’m happy because I have a boat at all!”. And the one would not be happy because his boat is bigger, but because he has the boat he always dreamt of.

I guess some people in other countries would faint when they hear about our taxes, not only because of how high they are, but because they associate high taxes with communist countries and governments, and maybe they would even ask “do you own anything?” (because if you pay 50% to the state, it has to be because the state tells you where to live, what doctor you should visit ect). I was puzzled when I heard people thought these things. It’s not like that at all! I feel free! I would be more worried if I lived in, for example, the USA – what if I break an arm, how am I going to pay for it? I have relatives in Ohio, and they answered this question – insurance. And it costs. A lot!

I once cut two fingers badly with a knife, I went to hospital, stayed there for two days – and I could just relax, drink coffee watch TV and be happy because it costs nothing. (Not that I thought for a second about that). And it was fixed and I can play the clarinet again.. and THAT makes me happy.

Are Danes a bunch of hippies then? We smoke (well I don’t), drink beer (I do!), relax, listen to odd music.. but if the government want to change anything about the system, we rush out and demonstrates.

I’m calm and content – I don’t have the boat I dream of, but the day where I can afford one I’ll be the happiest girl on earth. And then I would start working towards another goal. And as long as I have dreams and goals, I consider myself as happy. Cheers!

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