For many years in a row, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world by the World Happiness Report. Even more, this Nordic country has been interesting “far ahead” from 10 other top countries in this report, which ranks the level of happiness 156 countries use data from the Gallup World Poll survey. The US super power country is the other way around, continue the downward trend. This year is in 19th place. Last year was 18, down from 14 previous year.
It's not difficult to understand why Finland is doing so well. The northern European country has a strong social safety net, including a progressive and successful approach to ending homelessness. They also have a high-quality education system, and his commitment to close the gender gap has paid off. With a population of more than 5,5 million people, it is the only country in the developed world where fathers spend more time with school-aged children than mothers.
Finnish people have succeeded in building such that they feel like they have control of their lives, kata Anu Partanen, penulis The Nordic Theory of Everything, who recently moved back to their home country Finland after a decade in New York.
“Most people want a life where they can get health care if they are sick, where their children get a good education, where they can work and hopefully feel fulfilled in the work, while still being able to spend time with loved ones,” Kata Partanen pada HuffPost.
"It's not that the Finns want to be very rich. I think Finland just does a pretty good job in helping people achieve this beautiful and ordinary life.”
10 the happiest country, as in previous years, dominated by the Danish Nordic countries, Norway, Iceland and Sweden, and Finland. And all but two of them, New Zealand and Canada.
This picture is far less positive in other parts of the world, especially South Asia, where a continuing decline in Indian welfare (now ranked 140) responsible for driving the decline in the welfare of the region. The fact, India is performing so poorly and its population is so significant that it is dragging on all levels of global happiness.
More research needs to be done to understand what is happening in India, but it is a clear reminder that rapid economic development and social change can incur costs and bring benefits, said co-editor of the John F report. Helliwell, a senior colleague from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
“High economic growth is not always in line with an increase in happiness,” he told HuffPost. “Indeed, it can often sacrifice people's social relationships and the happiness of their daily lives.”
The US government should take this message on the board, kata co-editor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. "We continue to pursue economic growth as a sacred cup, but that does not bring prosperity to our country. We must stop our addiction to GDP growth as our only main indicator of what we do.”
Partanen, who returned to Finland with her American husband and one-year-old daughter in search of family life “more sane”, said that their time in the US often experienced anxiety. "It takes a lot of energy to find the right day care, find the right school, find the right doctor, then find out the right insurance plan and how you will pay for everything, because it is very expensive. "
When US welfare continues to deteriorate and inequality increases, the social order of the country is under increasing pressure, kata Sachs, creating a society that is very vulnerable to exploitation and what economists call it “addiction epidemic,” including substance abuse, hard work and gambling. To overcome it, the government needs to control the companies that control this addiction, kata Sachs, but the opposite happened.
“This is the worst administration we have ever had in terms of releasing the power of lobbying and giving up the regulatory system for the benefit of the company,” he said. “[Trump administration ] work overtime for a small group of wealthy and powerful people who do a large amount of damage to public goods as a whole.”
Community and social relations are the central theme of the report 2019, which details how the activities face to face, like sports and volunteering, contribute to positive well-being, while online connectivity can damage it.
This is especially true for younger people. Over the past decade, the amount of time a teenager spends (age 13 to 18) for screen activities, like a game, social media, and texting, continues to increase. On 2018, 95 percent of teens in the US have access to smartphones and 45 percent say they are online almost constantly. Some studies have found a correlation between the time young adults spend online and the decline in well-being. For example, girls who spend five or more hours a day on social media are found three times more likely to experience depression than non-users.
The report concludes that, although developing information technology has increased the scale and complexity of human connectivity, they risk the quality of social connections in ways that are not fully understood and that have not been improved.
Countries must be as concerned about unhappiness as they are with other public health threats, kata Laurie Santos, professor of psychology at Yale University. We might think about the goal of being happier because it's just something rich countries have the luxury to worry about, he told HuffPost, but happiness is far deeper than that. "Being happy correlates with job performance, resistance in the face of disease, and even longer life. "
In the end, The World Happiness Report aims to encourage governments and individuals to shape policies and life choices by considering greater welfare. Some countries have already made steps to include welfare in their government. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, for example, has called for a different type of economy that brings more systematic principles of welfare and the environment into its policies.
“It is the duty of the government to provide a higher quality of life for its citizens,” kata Partanen. "In the US, there is a lot of focus on achieving happiness, but often the solution is to do more yoga or meditate – happiness is what you get from it. For the government, happiness cannot be a kind of internal thing that someone has or doesn't have, or that they have to find out for themselves. It's about helping citizens get a better quality of life. Tentu saja kami ingin mencapai hal-hal tersebut, tetapi untuk apa kita mencapainya jika bukan untuk kualitas hidup yang lebih baik bagi kita semua?”
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