By Sidney M. Levy
Speaking at the December Open Forum, Eric Weiner, author of the New York Times best-selling book, "The Geography of Bliss," said that his experience as an NPR journalist who traveled the world to cover war and civil strife spurred him to seek the brighter side of life. He felt a need to find places around the globe where creativity and happiness abound. He set off to gather information for his book that would reflect the brighter side of this planet - conditions that affect and impact the happiness everyone strives to achieve.
In Switzerland, one of the top 5 countries in the world to report wide population happiness, he found that high-levels of trust and the country's natural beauty were contributing factors. According to Weiner, trust in the U.S has diminished from 65% to just 30% today. Weiner, son of Broadmead resident Carole Weiner, found that in Iceland, rated third happiest among nations, a profound sense of community prevails.
In Thailand, he uncovered a national theme, "Never Mind." The words translated as meaning that in seeking happiness, one should not over-think or worry too much about problems that may not need to be solved. In Bhutan, bordered by India, Tibet, and China, Weiner says success is measured by GNH (Gross National Happiness) rather than GDP (Gross Domestic Product). He thinks money contributes to happiness, but a lot of money does not lead to a lot of happiness.