Monday, September 19, 2011

How happy are you?

How Happy Are You?

This is a question that is often asked several times within a person's lifetime. It may be targeted towards someone's well-being, financial stability, relationship status, or their accomplishments. "Does he/she really make you happy?" "You just closed on a 2 million dollar house, how happy are you, really"?

As we all have seen money or materialistic products don't always bring us all the happiness and joy in life. Even people who have achieved and accumulated everything they thought they ever wanted in life still can't seem to find happiness. In all you have, how do you find happiness?

According to the Happy Planet Index Jamaica ranks a number of 70.1 to being one of the happier countries on the planet, while not falling far behind the number one spot Costa Rica holds at 76.1. As our country the U.S. ranks a mere 30.7 in total. Although this number isn't completely based upon the overall countries' "happiness", it is also based on the countries natural resources, survival habits, and providing a long lasting life for their people. As stated by the HPI organization: "The Index doesn’t reveal the‚ “happiest” country in the world. It shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens. The nations that top the Index aren’t the happiest places in the world, but the nations that score well show that achieving, long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources is possible."

Although this does not technically mean Jamaica is a happier country so to speak, I do believe it shows their people have a way of making something out of what they have to be happy rather than most Americans. As much as we all like to say that we're happy for everything that we have and we appreciate everything that we have, I think far too many of us take a lot of things for granted. During my travels to Jamaica I felt as if I photographed, documented and became acquainted with some of the most friendly, carefree people I've ever met. How can people with so little (materialistic things) be so happy? They have such an aspiring attitude and light about them, their "way of life" was amazing to me. When they say ‚ “Jamaica, no problem man”, they mean it.

Everywhere I went there wasn't somebody who didn't say hi to me and ask me how I was doing. In America it's hard enough to get a stranger to say, “good morning”, let alone having an entire conversation. Jamaicans’ have such an aspiring attitude upon life, they have an insuppressible desire to live and such an enduring confidence no matter where they stand in terms of wealth. I believe this is something all of us should strive for, “happiness”; happiness in terms of what we have at this moment and what we make of life, the essential need just to live.

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1 comment:

Warren Imagery said...

such GREAT photos Whitney! I love the story that you got out of your trip to Jamaica. You're one amazingly talented artist!! :)