Thursday, April 26, 2007

Put on a Happy Face

This morning the Danish were highlighted as the happiest people on Earth by Good Morning America, a popular morning TV program in the States. Despite cold weather, high taxes and questionable cuisine, the show indicated that low expectations, great welfare and an emphasis on simplicity help make the Danish so happy.

This struck me as interesting given that despite the old reputation of happy-go-lucky and hospitable, today's Greeks are increasingly gloomy. This was recently epitomized on a website that provided information to those interested to moving to Greece. On the message boards, a Greek responder indicated that some things are better left as dreams and that readers should avoid moving to the country.

Put simply, I find it downright irritating! While the country justifiable depends on and invests millions in tourism to showcase its beauty and charm, this attitude threatens to drive away the lifeblood. Why?

Depressing Environment? Not nature anyway. Millions flock to the country for a chance to come closer to the best nature has to offer. Mountains, agriculture, seas and skies!

Distrust in Government? The same survey that found the Danes happy also found Italians as cheerful. Italy's government has been plagued with credibility issues for years and years!

Opportunity? More than ever before the Greek government is offering incentives for new businesses for those that want to put in a little effort. Is unemployment a problem? Yes, but solutions are also available for those that take the initiative to find them.

While it is natural for life's daily problems to haze our perceptions of happiness, this wallowing in "poor me" attitude only brings on more stress and depression.

Greeks live in the most beautiful country in the world - how about we start using our famous brains... the ones that we boast brought the world democracy and philosophy (along with advances in near every field of study) to come up with smart, creative ways to leverage our resources for our individual and collective benefit!

Ande bravo!

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