Did any of you see the special on 20/20 about happiness?
It was really interesting. America ranked a measely #23 on the happiness scale. I have to say, I'm a bit surprised it wasn't lower. And the country that ranked #1. Denmark.
Free healthcare, free education and hardly any system of status. People are choosing occupations based on their desire to do them, not as motivation for a paycheck. They have a choice based on interest, instead of income.
They have security that their government is taking care of them, and in turn; they're healthier and happier.
Wouldn't you say half of you stress, bad eating habits, general unahppiness is related to your place of work? Work takes up 80% of your lives and yet here in America we allow ourselves to associate "work" with negativity; because so many people are unhappy in their work place. We say, "Oh I have work tomorrow." the same way you'd say, "Oh, I'm getting a root canal tomorrow." There is something incredibly wrong with this logic.
What I hate even more is when people say, "Well that's why it's called work." You mean we've come leaps and bounds in technology, we're driving Hybrid cars, we have a woman and a black man running for president, and we can't come up with a better way to spend 80% of our LIVES? We're willing to give up that easy and say, "WELL. THATS WORK FOR YA." Fuck that. Everyone keeps saying work doesn't define you, but you should be PROUD to let your work define who you are.
When you meet someone new they say, "What do you do?" They don't ask, "How would you define yourself?" Our society defines people by their work, so we better be a bit more fiesty when it comes down to fighting for the ability to CHOOSE our occupations based on desire.
We stray from choosing based on desire, because if we don't want our WORK to define us, we may as well let our; car, house, wardrobe, fancy vacations, and bank account do the talking.
The level of status based on things is so stressed that we're aren't allowed the luxury of following a career path based upon happiness if the career path doesn't have a pot of gold at the end.
If someone told you tomorrow that you could be a doctor or a teacher? A lawyer or an artist? A coach or a carpenter? And you'd make the same amount of money doing any of them- I'm sure many would choose a bit differently.
What are Denmarks secerets (other than they can attend college for free= no stress and they know if they fall ill= no stress): Trust, "Jante-Love" meaning, "You're not better than anybody else.", Friendship- a sense of community (nearly 90% belong to some sort of singing or dancing CLUB....I don't even know where to FIND that kind of CLUB.), and less emphasis on "stuff." It's just not that important.
They way they live their lives, is where their value lies, not in the plaques on the wall, the Lexus, or the promotion. And many of us are just STRIVING to even get to that, very few ever buy the Lexus- receive the accolades- "make it" and we're stuck in a rat race of discontenment, shitty jobs and future thinking for things that may never come.
SO NATURALLY- The Professor and I had to debate this. Cause, that's how we do.
The Professor: Every person who lives in a cave is content with their cave, just as long as they don't see the river out front
Chelsea Talks Smack: I think they live perfectly good lives, why wouldn't they be living a good life? They're safe, they're taken care of, they're choosing occupations based on their interest in them not on the income.
TP: yes and no
TP: It's a question of where your values are
TP: I don't think its a bad lifestyle
TP: to each his own
TP: but thats precisely my point, they can't leave to get a better job, to make more money, and they cant CHOOSE
CTS: what is it you think they SHOULD be valueing that they may not be.
CTS: They don't have anything they want to be FREE of, cause their government takes care of them
TP: but you have to see that thats giving up essential freedoms, even if that risks a worse lifestyle, I think its a valuable thing
CTS: I would choose happiness.
TP: one of my favorite people ever was Ben Franklin
TP: brilliant man
TP: "any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both"
He makes an interesting point....What do you think...?