A documentary worth watching

Note: This post is a slight deviation from my normal fangirly endeavors, so bear with me.

Tonight I watched a very interesting documentary called Happy.

It taught meamong many other thingsthat Denmark has the happiest people in the world per capita (reasons for this could be free education and health care for life, as well as co-housing, which creates communities through shared land and facilities). It also taught me that Okinawa, Japan is basically a paradise where old Asian grandmas live and I want to go to there:

Seriously, maybe I’m biased, but old Japanese ladies are just the best.

Okinawa is a surprising contrast to the unhappy culture of many other parts of Japan, where so many people die of work-related stress that there’s actually a word for it (“karoshi” – how terrifying).

By talking with people from all over the world, the filmmakers pointed out that the factors which measure happiness vary immensely from country to country. For example, a rickshaw puller in India explained how grateful he was to have a house that kept out the rain and neighbors he could talk to, whereas the average American with a steady income and 3 bedroom house might report being depressed or unsatisfied.

Perspective, dawg.

Anyway, Happy is an inspiring documentary. I imagine it’d be hard to make a film like this without crossing the boundary into “cheesy, sentimental” territory, but for the most part, Happy managed a good balance between the educational and the emotional (I still cried at parts, but whatevs). If you have Netflix Instant Watch, I would definitely recommend saving it to watch sometime. 

Song of the night (and rest of the week, too)

This is the last song that plays on the last episode of Freaks and Geeks (which, by the way, is an amazing show – why was it cancelled??). I was already feeling all the feels because of everything that happens in the last episode, then they went ahead and played this song and I just melted.

 

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they’re better left unsung.
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

You who choose, to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.

Fun fact: I literally live two blocks away from the Grateful Dead house and the heart of Haight Ashbury, and incredibly, I sometimes forget it. Now that the evenings are lighter and it’s finally getting to the point where I don’t have to bundle up in a gigantic coat and scarf every day, I want to spend more time out in the neighborhood, exploring the streets that made me fall in love with San Francisco in the first place.

Another fun fact: when I was a baby, one of my first “stuffed animals” was a plush Jerry Garcia doll, courtesy of my Uncle Bill (a close family friend). Does that automatically make me the coolest baby ever? I still have that doll somewhere….