Tonight I watched a very interesting documentary called Happy.
It taught me—among many other things—that 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.
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.