Tag Archives: happiness

New released study shows that children happier for being spiritual!

New Canadian studies reveal much to the surprise of researchers: that children have an unexpectedly sophisticated grasp of spirituality, and they’re happier for it.

“There had never been that language; that link had never been made for him,” Ennis, director of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a children’s program in the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, says of her son’s epiphany. Newly published research from the University of British Columbia finds that spirituality — a personal belief in a higher power — is strongly linked to the happiness of children ages eight to 12. Read the whole article: here.

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World Values Survey – Download 24 nations “happiness document”

Hundreds of people have entered this blog the last couple of days trying to find more information about the “happiness document” (I realize so may of us are in search of happiness). I have written in my earlier blogs here and here about these issues and the general approach of the World Values Survey, which is interesting dealing with many different issues.

The fact that so many of us are curious about the latest trends in this regard shows the importance of happiness in our time and age. However, let us not be impressed by these stats too quickly, as I meet hundreds of Western young people every year I have observed their deep sense of alienation in life. One of the reasons I write this blog is to continue address some of the issues that we are facing in Sweden (and the West). For me and hundreds of these younger people whom I mentioned earlier, the encounter with Jesus Christ has brought the kind of happiness that cannot be obtained by outward things; an inward change brought that deep sense of happiness and belonging.

Back to the document which you can find here, it states: “Indeed, among the countries for which we have long-term data, 19 of the 26 countries show rising happiness levels. In several of these countries— India, Ireland, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South Korea—there are steeply rising trends. The other countries with rising trends are Argentina, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. Three countries (the U.S., Switzerland and Norway) show flat trends from the earliest to latest available survey. Only four countries (Austria, Belgium, the U.K. and West Germany) show downward trends. Almost five times as many countries show rising trends as downward trends.”

For more specific information about Sweden’s state of mind in regards to happiness read this.

I hope that this information will help you on your way to pursue happiness…

God bless you,

John


World Values Survey – 2008; reasons to be happy?

Among the last hundred people visiting my blog today were people from 24 different nations of our world (Sweden, Australia, Canada, United States, Denmark , Netherlands, Romania, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Finland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Nicaragua, Hungary, Chile, Mexico, India, Turkey, Switzerland, Singapore, Greece, Hong Kong and Bulgaria). Honestly speaking this was the broadest category of nations represented on one and the same day visiting my blog. The reason for that? I can only guess, but I am inclined to believe that it is related to an article in Science Daily called: “Despite Frustrations, Americans Are Pretty Darned Happy”

The article proudly stated “We’re number 16 … in world happiness. Feel the joy. The United States ranks ahead of more than 80 countries, but below 15 others in happiness levels, according to new World Values Survey data released in the July issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.”

The fact is that I in an earlier article addressed the World Values Survey (WVS) as I gave some pointers: WVS – another way of looking at cultures.

I am happy that the Americans are happy to be among the top 16 nations in world happiness. Dr. Inglehart argues that improving economic conditions and rising political and social freedom can improve satisfaction within whole societies long term.

For example, the United States, though ranking relatively high in many factors that contribute to happiness, has room for improvement in such areas as social solidarity and universal health coverage, says Inglehart. “To some extent, well-designed social policy can help raise U.S. happiness levels even more,” he says. “Policies that help increase the society’s sense of solidarity and tolerance may also help.” But, as the article clearly declares: “Even so, researchers note that wealth is important for happiness. Not surprisingly, three of the world’s poorer countries with long histories of repressive government–Moldova, Armenia and Zimbabwe–are at the bottom of the happiness list.”

As we all know; studies and polls can be interpreted and angled in many different ways no matter “how scientifically” the different measuring tools and surveys might have been designed. An observation that I want to give has to do with one of the graphs drawn by the organization which conducted this enormous research.

The ones scoring highest on the happiness scale, have according to the researchers also scored high on greater economic growth, it ranks relatively high in gender equality, tolerance of ethnic and social diversity and has high levels of democratization and political freedom.

My personal observation and question:

When looking at the graph below we see that almost all of the highest ranking nations have a common history; they are historically protestant societies. Could it be that this fact has influenced and transformed the make up of the nations and its inhabitants to such degree that even now, after many years of secularization we still are reaping some of the positive and good fruit of this, (for many nations), once natural and fundamental ground for life, namely a personal faith in Jesus Christ?

Without a doubt we know that freedom, democracy, equality and tolerance have been advocated by these communities and believers… Economic growth has been a natural consequence as economic lift was experienced by people who had become believers throughout the history of the Church whether in their own or in the generations following them as they were taught to be good stewards of their abilities and possessions. Their lifestyle based on stewardship and accountability was changed with as result a greater economic responsibility and thus transformation.

Again… could this fact be the real reason behind our still positive outlook on life and expectancy even though we have in many different areas of life become secularized?

What do you think?

For me, this is the Way I see it!

John