The World Happiness Report

The WASHINGTON TIMES today reported that the USA is not a happy place. The World Happiness Report, a survey based on Gallup polling data across some 156 countries, has determined that Finland is the world’s happiest country.The United States did not fare particularly well, coming in at its lowest ranking since the survey began. We’re now the 19th happiest people in the world, between Belgium and the Czech Republic. “The years since 2010 have not been good ones for happiness and well-being among Americans,” the survey’s authors write. “Even as the United States economy improved after the end of the Great Recession in 2009, happiness among adults did not rebound to the higher levels of the 1990s, continuing a slow decline ongoing since at least 2000.”

The survey’s authors attribute scourges like obesity and substance abuse as causes of Americans’ dearth of happiness. Social media is a scourge as well, with Americans spending more time tethered to their phones and less time actually talking to and dealing with each other. Texting is no substitute for talk. I like the texting explanation–but I think the main problem is that we have unresolved expectations–we are the most optimistic nation on the face of the earth and, at the same way, we have lost our way. The Bible Says Happiness Comes From Putting Others Before Yourself. Sin always puts self first. And when self is first, it will keep itself there by every ruthless means required. The only solution to self-centeredness is the only solution to sin in general, Jesus Christ. In Christ alone, then, is there happiness–and the harder we search for substitutes the more unhappy we become.

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