Eric Weiner asserts in his book, The Geography of Happiness, asserts that there is some link between geographical location and happiness, and explores several different countries which score high in Gross National Happiness, two of which are Switzerland and Iceland. It has often…
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It is interesting to see how Weiner tries to find explanations for these high happiness ratings.
During the chapter discussing Switzerland, Weiner begins to discuss the reasons for the Swiss happiness. He surmises that one of the major reasons behind the happiness of this neutral nation is that they experience their emotions in moderation, neither being very happy or very sad. This may seem like a strange suggestion to make when discussing the happiness, as perhaps it may seem necessary to experience happiness at the extreme to feature highly on the Gross National Happiness scale. In this case, we can say that there may be a link between geographical location and happiness, as the neutrality of the country seems to have had an impact on the neutrality of the people, and this leads to happiness. Another thing that Weiner mentions in his discussions of Switzerland is that the Swiss feel a huge connection with nature, and the way that geography contributes to this source of happiness is that Switzerland has a beautiful natural environment.
Many other things are mentioned in the discussion of Switzerland, such as their huge wealth (and thus surmising that the Swiss should feel less envy than those in other countries) and their tendency to vote often (thus surmising that democracy is the route to happiness) and these too can be linked geographically to the Gross National Happiness index. These latter two reasons Weiner are also associated with Iceland, a wealthy country with a well-established democratic government. Weiner also gives other reasons which may contribute to the happiness of the Icelandic people, one of which is a tendency towards the creative. Weiner even goes on to suggest that everyone in Iceland is a poet and a dreamer, and perhaps this leads to the large number of extremely happy people here. It is also interesting to ...
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