Sent by a friend of mine:
A new Happy Planet Index supports the cliché that money can't buy happiness. The New Economics Foundation, a British think tank, looked at 178 countries' consumption levels, life expectancy, and happiness, and concluded that people can live long, happy lives without sucking up large quantities of the planet's resources. In its ranking of happiest nations, the South Pacific island of Vanuatu earned the top slot.
Vanuatu, population 209,000, runs its economy mainly on small-scale agriculture and tourism; its GDP has been ranked 207th out of 233. Latin American countries dominate the top 10 happiest nations, with Colombia in second place. Many African and Eastern European nations are near the bottom, with Zimbabwe the official unhappiest nation. The U.S., with the world's second-largest ecological footprint (after oil-rich United Arab Emirates), ranked an unhappy 150th. Report co-author Nic Marks says the report reveals "patterns that show how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all while living within our environmental means."
straight to the source: BBC News, 12 Jul 2006
straight to the source: The Independent, Philip Thornton, 12 Jul 2006
straight to the index: Happy Planet Index
The source for this article can be found at http://www.grist.org
This is important for to consider as a Life Puzzle maker. On the 6-10 side of the Choosing Continuum--our goal is to practice a daily lifestyle to create health and whole life. Yet, to do this we need time to eat well, exercise consistently, parent well, build healthy relationships etc. For so many, work and the need for high quantities of money (to buy stuff!) inhibits their ability to create a healthy lifestyle practice! It is a cycle that is getting progressively crazy here in the United States. This Happiness Index challenges us to ask which is more important---money and stuff--or time to live more simply?
There are no easy answers and I say over and over again--Life Puzzle-making is not for wimps! It is not for people who say, "well, I'd love to but the 'systems' aren't set up to support Life Puzzle making". Life Puzzle makers don't wait for systems to change--they take responsibility for being the change they want to see!
If you want to be happy...it's a choice. Reducing the need for money/stuff is a proactive, conscious change--again, it isn't a quick fix choice--but it is something you can begin exploring how to bring these changes into you life--a piece at a time with the whole you in mind!