Simple Living Works!

Simple Living Works! eNews #33 – Why Are Danes So Happy?

Posted on: August 23, 2014

IMG_4691Rita and I are proud to be Danish-Americans. Both of us come from Danish stock, so we paid tribute to The Motherland by visiting Copenhagen with daughter Elysha for a week this spring.

[Photo: We three share an ice cream with Ron Rentner, a school mate of mine at Concordia, Oakland, Calif. in the ’60’s. Ron — in the black shirt — serves as pastor of the International Church of Copenhagen.]

The Danes are considered to be the happiest people on Earth. Outwardly they don’t appear especially happy. That’s because their happiness is not a shallow veneer. Their’s is an inner contentedness.

And why? Largely because Denmark is a Socialist Democracy. They have little of the gross economic inequality that America has. They willingly pay high taxes and it really works. Copenhagen is on track to be the first carbon neutral capital by 2020!

Prices seem higher there than in the U.S. They pay a 25% VAT (value added tax) on everything. Ouch! you may think. The VAT is already in the price, not added to it, as our sales tax is. We in the U.S. also pay additional fees that they don’t pay. An obvious example is tipping. Here we pay 15-20% for service. Tipping is not expected in Denmark because SERVERS ARE PAID A LIVING WAGE.

I recommend my interview with John De Graaf, co-author and producer of the Affluenza videos and books. He is co-founder of the Happiness Initiative. Though he focuses on Bhutan, his insights are relevant to Denmark as well. (Read my blog posts on The Geography of Bliss and Global Happiness Initiative.)

Why be concerned about happiness? One big reason would be that we Americans need to redefine happiness, away from consumerism toward contentedness. Why? Human civilization will go through immense trauma (some say extinction) by 2100. Let’s prepare ourselves, our children and grandchildren for the change now. Yes, we can mitigate some of the worst effects through simple, green living but we cannot reverse the inevitable through geo-engineering or magical, wishful thinking. (See my blog post Vision of the Future.)

Recent ADDITION: Stop Complaining about Big Government & Embrace It – Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture, Aug. 20, 2014

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10 Responses to "Simple Living Works! eNews #33 – Why Are Danes So Happy?"

Very nice job!! Keep up the great work of short, interesting blogging. Love and kisses, R

[…] Simple Living Works! eNews #33 – Why Are Danes So Happy? […]

[…] Why Are Danes So Happy? The Danes are considered to be the happiest people on Earth. Outwardly they don’t appear especially happy. That’s because their happiness is not a shallow veneer. It is an inner contentedness. And why? Largely because Denmark is a Socialist Democracy. They have little of the gross economic inequality that America has. They willingly pay high taxes and it really works. Copenhagen is on track to be the first carbon neutral capital by 2020! Why be concerned about happiness? One big reason would be that we Americans need to redefine happiness, away from consumerism toward contentedness. Why? Human civilization will go through immense trauma (some say extinction) by 2100. Let’s prepare ourselves, our children and grandchildren for the change now. Yes, we can mitigate some of the worst effects through simple, green living but we cannot reverse the inevitable through geo-engineering or magical, wishful thinking. (See my blog post Vision of the Future.) […]

I so hope Copenhagen succeeds in being carbon neutral by 2020! Lots of cities globally will emulate Copenhagen for it and join them in rapid order regardless of what their national gov’t does. Some cities have the kinds of industries, MultiEarth thinking, capitalist institutions needing growth that make it impossible without major, major change. That, too, is necessary.

[…] Why Are Danes So Happy? The Danes are considered to be the happiest people on Earth. Outwardly they don’t appear especially happy. That’s because their happiness is not a shallow veneer. It is an inner contentedness. And why? Largely because Denmark is a Socialist Democracy. They have little of the gross economic inequality that America has. They willingly pay high taxes and it really works. Copenhagen is on track to be the first carbon neutral capital by 2020! Why be concerned about happiness? One big reason would be that we Americans need to redefine happiness, away from consumerism toward contentedness. Why? Human civilization will go through immense trauma (some say extinction) by 2100. Let’s prepare ourselves, our children and grandchildren for the change now. Yes, we can mitigate some of the worst effects through simple, green living but we cannot reverse the inevitable through geo-engineering or magical, wishful thinking. (See my blog post Vision of the Future.) […]

[…] Why Are Danes So Happy? The Danes are considered to be the happiest people on Earth. Outwardly they don’t appear especially happy. That’s because their happiness is not a shallow veneer. It is an inner contentedness. And why? READ MORE […]

[…] Why Are Danes So Happy? The Danes are considered to be the happiest people on Earth. Outwardly they don’t appear especially happy. That’s because their happiness is not a shallow veneer. It is an inner contentedness. And why? READ MORE […]

[…] Why Ares Danes So Happy? blog | Response to Danes blog | Recent Responses to all SLW! media with links […]

[…] Challenge | my blog SIMPLIFY + GIVE + CHANGE = WATER || Also in This Episode: Why Ares Danes So Happy? blog | Response to Danes blog | Recent Responses to all SLW! media with […]

[…] Challenge | my blog SIMPLIFY + GIVE + CHANGE = WATER || Also in This Episode: Why Ares Danes So Happy? blog | Response to Danes blog | Recent Responses to all SLW! media with […]

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