When some big global organisations measure “Happiness” in the world’s 200 different countries it is odd that the ones at the top are those countries with many worried people!
The Nordic countries have never been impressed with their politicians. We keep on changing them every time we have elections. Is does not take long after the elections for us to feel unhappy with these people who made so many promises but keep so few!
We are a law-abiding folk, but not because we are “forced” to follow the laws, but because we worry about what happens if others start to break the law. It is part of our upbringing to be honest and transparent.
We also believe in equality, even if it costs us higher taxes, but that gives us a healthier and more successful society where the great majority are treated fairly. We also try hard to care for those who are handicapped, infirm and elderly.
All of these attributes require self-assessment. They also require that we think more about others than ourselves. We think about society and the consequences of our actions. Most Nordic people would agree that you should be rewarded for hard work, but only if it is done honestly and without abusing others.
We are not Trumpians or Berlusconians who look out for themselves, and accumulate private wealth at the expense of others. The Anglo Saxon model of “my home is my castle” with a big moat is far from our culture, even though we have an increasingly vocal number of politicians and business people who want to introduce this model for their own private benefit.
The Trumpians and Berlusconians retort by calling us “Socialists” when they in fact are behaving just like any Oligarch from Russia or elsewhere…
These attributes of modesty and inclusivity result in “systemic worriedness”. Self assessment and a strong self-awareness in reviewing the impact of our actions on the rest of society creates serious attitudes. We end up being rather critical of ourselves and others in order to achieve what we think is a better life.
We produce clean environments, we produce good folk like Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old who Swedish climate activist who initiated the school strike for climate movement.
We produce excellent low cost public healthcare and excellent free education for our populations. We pay taxes for other basic services like public transport, reasonable road networks and national security.
… and being worried produces values that making us happy – they go hand in hand for us,
… and that is the reason why few of us really understand why such “Happiness” measurements are made in the first place, because in being “Happy” actually requires quite hard work,
… because being “Happy” means that we must learn and do things continuously to understand and improve what is going on around us, and that is a rather demanding master!