Table: The World's Happiest Countries - Forbes.com
Most of us have been spoon fed the glories of capitalism and the free market since we were old enough to eat at a table. But a few years ago, I saw a study much like this one, and thought, "What if we're not getting it? What if the aquisition of wealth isn't really the way to happiness?"
In other words, if our system is so great, why are we only #14, and not not #1? Why are people in Denmark, Finland, Norway, etc. so much happier than we are?
I'm no socialist/communist. But on the other hand, I can't help but wonder if our lives might be better if more of us had a security net that protected us from having to constantly worry about something terrible happening (like getting a life-threatening illness that would push us over the edge of financially succeeding).
What if work was just work, and we could spend more hours in our day enjoying life, and fewer hours feeling like we have to claw our way to the top of the rat race?
Just food for thought...what if earning money ISN'T the be all/end all of our existence? What if we could go to work, earn a paycheck, do our best work, and know that we'd be taken care of in comfort after retirement, without constantly scrimping and saving?
Some of you are very well-off. I appreciate your hard work.
However, as a single mom, I am nearly constantly worried about how I am going to pay for all of my children's college expenses, how much money I will need to retire after doing that, and the possibility that something could happen to me that would make it impossible to work, and would leave my kids hanging off of the edge of the cliff.
I do fine professionally, I make good money and I have a great job with an excellent company. And yet, having said that, I still have to put myself in the "struggling" category. Every single month is a struggle to make ends meet and make sure my kids have the things that they need. A lot of that is because I receive very little help from my ex in taking care of the kids. I don't blame anyone for that situation except myself, and yet...it's hard.
And I'm in the top 10% of wage earners here.
I wonder...if it's that hard for me, what's it like for the other 90%? And, have these people in these other countries figured out something that we haven't about what life is really about?