CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 22 September 2018

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Happiness is not all about money

HONG KONG (SE): The World Happiness Report for 2017 released during March proposes Norway as being the happiest country on earth.

It adds that the Americans are a bit sadder than they used to be and that the Chinese not any happier than they were 25 years ago.

The report says that one thing that came out strongly in collecting information is that money is not everything for people in the 155 countries studied.

The rankings in the report are based on gross domestic product per person and healthy life expectancy, coupled with four factors from global surveys where people give a rating from one to 10 on how much social support they feel they have if something goes wrong, their freedom to make their own life choices, their sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.

In Asia, Singapore occupies the 26th place in the rankings; Thailand 32; Taiwan 33; Malaysia 42; Japan is in 51st place; South Korea ranked 56th; and The Philippines 72nd, while Cambodia came in as the saddest Asian country in 129th position.
Overall, Hong Kong was ranked 71st in the world and China 79th. The report finds that people in China are no happier than they were 25 years ago, which is in sharp contrast with the growth of income per capita during that period.

A steady decline in the evaluation of quality of life was evident between 1990 and 2005 but has been compensated for by an increase in income and some other factors, leaving the average level of today at approximately the same level as the 1990s.

A job satisfaction study conducted by Curtain University in Australia, which comes in at ninth on the happiness index, shows that high salaries are not the prime value, but enjoying what you do and to put it simply, just loving your work, is.

It also shows that rural workers are more satisfied than their city-slicker counterparts and older workers happier than younger ones.

The main attraction of country life seems to be that you are not a blob in the mob so social structure support is higher.

The most dissatisfied group was in Western Australia where an average work week is 46 hours and for similar reasons Victoria drew for most unhappy. There was also a higher job satisfaction among those who work in the outdoors.

The survey only looked at people that have jobs and did not go into problems caused by widespread unemployment in many rural areas.

Although China has high a high employment rate and a continually rising gross domestic product, this was not reflected in its level of happiness.

“China’s soaring gross domestic product growth over the past quarter century is viewed by many analysts as the hallmark of a successful transition from socialism to capitalism,” the World Happiness Report says, but apparently it does not translate into a higher level of satisfaction.

“But if the welfare of the common man is taken as a criterion of success, the picture is much less favourable and more like that of European transition countries,” the report notes.

The other Asian giant, India, is positioned at only 122th place, lower than Pakistan on 80, Nepal at 99, Bangladesh at 110 and Iraq, which ranks in 117th place.

The two biggest factors contributing to unease in society proved to be the corruption level and political instability.



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