(From Tugus) Chinese people, why are you unhappy? What stole happiness away from Chinese people? Author Hei Jian visited 40 countries to seek happiness.
A few years ago, University of Leicester social psychologist White visited over 80,000 people from 178 countries and regions and drew the world’s first “World Map of Happiness”. Surprisingly, the top county was Denmark. Denmark is a country of ice and snow, the southernmost latitude is still north of Heilongjiang Province of China (China’s northernmost province). And Denmark is also a high-tax country with 50%-70% of income tax. So why are Danish people so much happier than people of other countries and regions?
He believes that in Denmark, although with a high rate of taxes, the Danish government is able to use the taxes on the people. The government is responsible for all citizens’ health care and education, and cares for children and the elderly in every possible way. It is ranked first in the world for average money spent per person. Therefore in Denmark, a person who picks up trash for living can be neighbor of people of middle class, and can live equally and proudly. Jan Dion picks up trash for living, he said he does not mind his way of life, because he only needs to work 5 hours a day and spends the rest of time with his family. No one judges his job. He enjoys life because he has many friends. Whenever his children wave at him or his wife hands over a cup of hot coffee, he feels extremely happy.
When we talk about Singapore, the first thought is that this country has strict and harsh laws. Singapore has very detailed legal provisions. Chewing gum or having long hair may be penalized. If you have committed a felony, you may also be tied up and whipped by bamboo whips. But unexpectedly, Singapore is actually the happiest place in Asia. The survey also showed that people living in the slums of Calcutta, India are happier than residents of California. Californians may have more food and better shelters, but the homeless in India have each other.
In Denmark, happiness comes from equality; in Singapore, happiness comes from the rule of law; in the slums of Calcutta, India, happiness comes from the hearts of people that depends on each other.
It is not difficult to see, whether a person is happy or not, largely depends on two aspects. One is external, that is the social environment we live in; the other is internal, that is our personal attitude to life. Today, we (Chinese people) are not happy, also can be analyzed in several aspects.
1. Lack of faith (beliefs)
Most people do not know what the expectations are in one’s whole life, simply put it, you do not know what you want. Confucius ate coarse rice, drank water, didn’t even have pillows when sleeping and used his arms as pillows, but Confucius said, “Happiness is within”; He said, “A basket of cooked rice, a ladle of water, living in the ghetto alley”, others might think this is an unbearable life, but Confucius was able to “keep his happiness”. Why? Because he knew what he is pursuing in this life.
2. Always comparing
Western saying goes, Whether a person is fortunate or not, happy or not, does not depend on how big of accomplishment he/she has achieved, but from the way how the neighbors look at them. When what we are pursuing is not happiness, but to be happier than others, then happiness will be even further away from us.
3. Living in happiness without realizing it
If a light has been constantly lit, you will not pay attention to it, but if it is brighter and darker at times, or if it is on and off at times, you will notice. Similarly, sometimes we are envied by others, but we hardly notice it. Only if one day we loss that, then we will realize.
4. Not moved by beautiful things
“The spring wind is so selfless, not asking for anything in return but blossomed millions of flowers.” We may not have the ability to create beauty, but have we been appreciating the beauty of nature, or the beautiful things created by others? We often ignore and unaware of the natural beauty, artistic beauty, spiritual beauty and many beautiful things in life around us.
5. Do not know how to give
Zhang Shangying from Song dynasty said, “Nothing is happier than being happy of doing good deeds”, only a person who knows how to give rather than just take can be truly happy. Charity is not a privilege of the rich. Donating millions to disaster relief is charity, give a stranger a smile is also charity.
6. Not being content
How much does a person need to be satisfied? Never enough!
When you are not happy because you don’t have shoes, have you noticed those who do not have feet? Contentment brings happiness.
Harold Albert is the academic director of the University of California. Once he walked on the street full of dissatisfaction and confusion because he had already lost his job and was looking for new work. He walked in the road like a depressed person, completely lost confidence and courage.
Just then, a man with no legs came, sitting on a small wooden platform which was attached with wheels from old skates. He carried 2 pieces of wood and wheeled himself across the street.
When Harold saw him, he had just crossed the street, trying to raise himself a few inches to get on the pavement. Harold’s eyes met his, the disabled man said happily, “Good morning! Sr. Nice morning weather, is not it?” At the time Harold felt a strange sense of satisfaction. He thought, I have 2 legs, he has no legs, but he is so happy, what reason do I have to be upset? So Harold became more confident, and went on happily.
7. Anxiety is everywhere
Anxiety of safety, wealth, health and anxiety of children’s education and employment… Only a person who is carefree can be happy.
8. Too much pressure/stress
Political pressure, pressure from work, family, emotional stress, financial stress, interpersonal pressure, psychological pressure and physical pressure
9. Standards are too high
Using person’s own standard to demand others “If I can, why can’t you?”
Using other’s standard to demand oneself, “If he can, why can’t I?”
10. Not being oneself
A person who becomes a good son, a good husband, a good father, a good friend, a good partner… but if a person cannot become someone that himself/herself desires, always fighting with oneself, then this person has no balance, and naturally, it is difficult for him/her to be truly happy.