Sunday, January 27, 2008

Don't worry, be happy...

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, and then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

According to the KLM in-flight magazine, this was voted “the world’s funniest joke” in a website created for that effect by a University teacher. The whole January issue is dedicated to happiness, and it includes several articles and hints on how to be happy: songs to listen to, quotes to help in the way, films to watch, things to buy. I found out, for instance, that, according to the World Database of Happiness, the hotter a country is, the less happy people are. Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Iceland and Finland are the happiest, while Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova, Zimbabwe and Tanzania are said to be at the bottom of the happiness scale. Belgium is on the Top 20; Portugal on the middle-range. I also found out that most people experience a “happiness dip” between the ages of 30 to 50, and that those 20 years generally are not considered the happiest in a person’s life. And, just to give some examples, I also learned that “part of being happy is simply a question of character”.

Being a Portuguese, 33-years-old, quite introvert person, I was starting to think that I was condemned to be unhappy… and I was about to close and throw out the magazine, just when I read some of the quotes on page 33. Leo Tolstoy is supposed to have said “If you want to be happy, be.” It was kind of relieving, but, since he was Russian and this country is quite close to the bottom of the scale, I was not completely sure that I could trust his expertise on the matter… The salvation came, as it often happens when it comes to quotes, from Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, just keep going”.

I smiled. Assuming that I won’t change citizenship any soon, I need to keep going through hell for 17 years more, only. The good news is that I plan to do it smiling. And the truth is that seamless, enjoyable travel experiences, like the one I am having in Korea, help a lot!

10 Comments:

Blogger Ze&Jose said...

cheguei aqui meio por acaso vindo do blog do Miguel marujo.
Depois de ler uma série de posts achei que me ficava bem dar sinais de vida just to make sure you know I am alive.
E aproveito para te enviar um grande abraço, naturalmente feliz porque tenho a felicidade de estar agora a viver na suíça.
Zé Pedro

11:48 PM  
Blogger Diogo said...

Ora então vê se consegues manter-te feliz! E vai dando noticias! Um abraço!

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

és o melhor mano do mundo!

11:50 AM  
Blogger Diogo said...

:$

3:52 PM  
Blogger Rundudundu said...

I heard today in the EP, one Moldovan gentelman saying that Moldova is at the very bottom of the happiness scale. I thought it was a joke, but now you confirm it... :)
But the person also said that for Moldovans the happiest thing is that Romanians are unhappy, so here you go the warmth of brotherly relations... :)

10:49 PM  
Blogger Diogo said...

I guess that out of the two hunters, one was Moldovan and the other one Romanian :)

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Cica said...

Heh, it is a bit weird that Finish people are considered to be one of the happiest nations. Not sure about statistics, but my Finish friend told me that suicide rate in Finlad is the second highest in the world, just after Japan. Strange way to demonstrate their positive attitude to life :-)))

2:03 PM  
Blogger Diogo said...

Hmmm... I have thought of that too... and I came up with a theory: they are so happy, that they can't stand it! I know it doesn't make any sense... but I never understood how anyone could commit suicide anyway... Good to see that you kept reading :) Cheers!

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Ice-cream lover said...

?...while Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova, Zimbabwe and Tanzania are said to be at the bottom of the happiness scale..."
I am quite surprised that you haven't included Azerbiajan in that list. Maybe you decided to omit this information instead, in order not to hurt your friends from Azerbaijan...:)
Nice article overall...but I think the facts are somewhat mistaken...don't believe everything you read :P

7:26 PM  
Blogger Diogo said...

Hmmm... I didn't do it on purpose, but it's true that Azerbaijan is quite close to the bottom too... Still doing better than the ones I mentioned as being the least happy, and even better than Russia! Actually, close to Romania :)

12:42 AM  

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