“A poll released Wednesday of nearly 150,000 people around the world says seven of the world’s 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America.
Many of the seven do poorly in traditional measures of well-being, like Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven criminality that give it one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Guatemala sits just above Iraq on the United Nations’ Human Development Index, a composite of life expectancy, education and per capita income. But it ranks seventh in positive emotions.
“In Guatemala, it’s a culture of friendly people who are always smiling,” said Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor. “Despite all the problems that we’re facing, we’re surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all.”
Gallup Inc. asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year if they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day.
In Panama and Paraguay, 85 percent of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list. They were followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica.
The people least likely to report positive emotions lived in Singapore, the wealthy and orderly city-state that ranks among the most developed in the world. Other wealthy countries also sat surprisingly low on the list. Germany and France tied with the poor African state of Somaliland for 47th place.
Prosperous nations can be deeply unhappy ones. And poverty-stricken ones are often awash in positivity, or at least a close approximation of it.”
Positive emotions aren’t everything. People living close to Nature is well grounded yes. They are likely to develop more positive emotions than one who has had for Christmas a glock or AR15. What positive emotions can he have unless he goes out and tries it on anything moving? Keep encouraging children ‘Sport! come on try take this to dangerous places, for your own protection’and you will learn soon enough. It shocked me no little to read of the 11 year old boy in Utah taking his weapon to school. When schools have become such lethal place for shoot-outs all I can say American education has become soul-less. Warning signs were there. The warning ‘Why Johnny cannot read’ should have had companion primer like’Why Johnny’s parents cannot read the writing on the wall’. Neglect and wrong parenting methods have reaped their havoc. Parents trusted progress too well to shape the character of their wards. We see their long range consequences now. A child in Gautemala may never see the inside of a school. At least he has unspoilt nature for school. If he is let to build on positive emotions without interference from well meaning busybodies, he may even learn to be happy in life,- living with what little one may call as fruits of ‘progress’.
The day after the Sandy Hook massacre there was a surge in body armor jackets and guns. I say these people are lemmings. Lemmings I thought were only in cold Arctic regions. No people well pick up the characteristics as naturally as the static on the TV screen of background radiation. (When nature teaches you, what one learns of human nature takes some shape and color.) What do the lemmings teach us? We see the behavior of lemmings in the mindless reaction of people to some events.They respond en masse as a Pavlovian reflex. Progress built up peer pressure and it has made this least attractive trait shape progressive societies. Peer pressure to steel the soul of children to face adversity like an iron spike would have been the ideal. But modern society are in hurry :where not life but status symbols define man’s worth. It translates into ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ syndrome.In order to be seen successful possess as many cars as your neighbor and so on. It is peer pressure at work. Training children from birth to be natural and self-reliant will not do for the so called city fathers. The young have to conform to peer pressure instead. When one waves flag you gotta wave one or when one beats the drum the rest has to march like robots. No wonder progress has been so badly shown in practice. Does not anyone read Emerson or Thoreau and learn to trust in his or her god-given individuality any more?