This book focused on the degree of happiness in the ten different countries under study. In the book it is clearly demonstrated that our happiness depends on our relationship with those around us. The author has always focused on the unhappy events all over the world therefore his live revolved around the unhappy conditions and events all over the world.
The first chapter relates to the state of happiness in Netherlands and the effects of bliss of the people. His study was based on the city Nondescript of Rottingham.Here; he based his studies on happiness on areas of marriage, education, democracy, and drugs because each of the topics has a special relationship with the happiness of an individual. In his studies in Netherlands he could not specifically locate the places where the happy people were available. The study showed that the Dutch were very happy people.
The Dutch were tolerant to issues like prostitution as well as drug use. The author was able to identify what made the people, unhappy in Netherlands. In this geographical area, the emphasis was more on marriages and families. They perceive issues of prostitution to be a common and an acceptable thing in the society therefore this do not bother their happiness. Prostitution was taken lightly and it was regarded as one of the means of income generation therefore the prostitutes are not stigmatized making them happy like other workers in all other sectors of the economy of Netherlands.
The economic status of Netherlands contribute to the nature of happiness because the agriculturally based economy in this small country is doing well therefore people can generate good levels of income which betters their lives. The Dutch are said to be happy because of social freedom since the people their political and democratic rights are not abused like in most parts of the world. This makes the people happy because they are free to choose the right leaders who can deliver the necessary services to the community. The health facilities in Netherland are good and easily accessible by the citizens, this leads to higher levels of happiness because people are less burdened by diseases and this relieves them of stress and diseases.
Then levels of corruption are low in Netherland making the life of people better and fair accessibility of services. The resources are shared equitably and fairly making people to have what they deserve at the right cost and time. The process of justice is well administered in Netherlands making people treated fairly and this makes them happy because they can seek justice at, low cost and the process is not tiresome.
In Netherlands, women are happy because they have social freedom to participate in all activities in the society as men do and this gives ensures equality. The provision of maternity leaves also contributed to the good social life because even men are given leaves to help their wives at maternity leaves in raising the children.
In relation to Chapter two, Switzerland has been given emphasis in relation to social freedom. In Switzerland is referred to be a happy country. This country relates to boredom. The people of Switzerland are happy because they work together without struggles over power or wealth. They do not envy on one another but they share what they have. The author related the Swiss to boredom due to their way of speaking. They have a direct form of democracy and this is also related to happiness. The Swiss are said to be hospitable since they accommodate people from all over the world without stereotyping or prejudice. InSwitzerland, people have access to good health facilities which relieves them of their stress and diseases.
People have access to health quality healthcare at lower cost and this gives them peace of mind. The Swiss enjoys social freedom which makes them happy people because they can choose leaders democratically without bias or prejudices. The levels of corruption are low in Switzerland which enables the citizens to access their resources equitably without having to incur extra costs. The state of security in Switzerland is good making the people live happily without fear and they will be able to run their businesses well. This peaceful coexistence made the Swiss happy people.
In relation to chapter five the state of happiness in Iceland has been clearly brought out. The nature and imagery of the country has been used as a basis to study the levels of happiness of the country. In Iceland their happiness is based on the beauty of nature like the palm trees and the sunny beaches in the country. The people in this country are happy despite of the winter conditions.
The all sorts of winter sport activities are the source of happiness to the people. The people of Iceland believe that some bit of pain should be inflicted to the people. The people of Iceland are passionate about their lives and struggle to better their lives. People participate in activities like skating on the ice as the ways to generate heat on their bodies. The people of Iceland are cooperative and they participate actively in the activities of their nation even though the weather is not very favorable. This weather especially during winter has made people strong and adaptable to the weather conditions.
Moldova, also known as the republic of Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. The country is located Ukraine and Romania. The capital city of this country is called Chisinau. Weiner depicts Moldova as the least happy nation in the world and feels it is actually important to study the nation because its absence of happiness. Because he does not want to build his story out of assumptions, Weiner asks the people of Moldova if they were happy and the answer was a categorical no.
Weiner goes ahead to find out why the citizens of this country were unhappy. Most of the citizens associated their unhappiness with poverty and lack of money. People say that they do not have sufficient money. Weiner also agrees that the country has got no enough money but also wonders why even poorer countries in Africa are happier than Moldova. By the end of his travel to Moldova Weiner establishes the reason why Moldova is unhappy.
Weiner points out that people from Moldova feel powerless and unable to change anything about their life. People in Moldova are reconciled to their life of suffering and poverty and do not endeavor to make life better. Weiner in this chapter is able to use a photograph to capture the poor life in Moldova. The black and white photograph signifies hopelessness in the country.
In this commentary, Weiner compares Moldova to Qatar. Despite being located at two different Geographical positions the countries share a similar reason as why they are not happy. People in Moldova, just like the Qataris are resigned to their lives and feel less motivated to change things and make life better and happier. The people Qatar, do not pay taxes and thus do not have a voice in the government .Contrastingly, Moldovans are deteriorated because they do not have enough whereas as Qataris are stagnated by the fact that they have more than enough.
After a whole year of travelling, Weiner goes back to his home country, America where he finds happiness. He points out that there is nowhere else you will find happiness except home. It was however problematic to make a whole road trip all throughout America due to the physical, cultural and economic diversity of the Americans. Weiner focuses on his friend’s decision to travel and his own decision to settle in Miami. Weiner discovers that Americans love to travel all through their country looking for a region within the country’s boundaries which fits them.
Weiner’s decision to settle in Miami later changed as he found the eternal humidity and sunlight did not go well with him. Most Miami refugees end up in Asheville and Weiner is no exception.
Asheville is in North Carolina. Weiner describes this place as a groovy little mountain that is amazingly artistic and liberal. However, when Weiner seek to find out whether the refugees were happy in the town, many of them said no. They said home is where one is born.
In the commentary, Weiner says that it was very hard to write about America because of the diversity of the people in America. This is evident since his story on America came as an afterthought and actually confesses that it is his editor who told him that he needed to write about America.
Weiner, Eric. The geography of bliss: one grump's search for the happiest places in the world. New York: Twelve, 2008. Print.