Sunday, May 19, 2024

HOW IS HAPPINESS MEASURED?

The polls are a typical example and indicator of a rotten and dead state, in which corruption has penetrated into every pore of society. Disbelief in government policies, disbelief in justice and the prosecution, stagnation in the legislative system, chaos leading to social collapse and collapse of the system, which has been dysfunctional for decades.

Author: Katerina Topallova

What does it mean to be “happy”? Are you happy? This seemingly simple question not only resembles the beginning of a conversation where we can highlight all the troubles, difficulties, bad moments but also good, pleasures, joy, joys and humor, but this kind of question is also a measure of what global authorities value when formulating policies to better serve their people and to assess the success of their policy so far and its future direction. So, there are numerous studies, mainly international from well-known institutions, which monitor the degree of “happiness” – its growth and decline, according to which they give a top-down overview of the society in which we live and develop.

Consequently, I am reading the latest survey report of IPSOS – the Institute for Public Opinion Research – a multinational market research company, published on the eve of the International Day of Happiness on March 20, a survey that gives some very interesting results as far as it belongs to “measurement of happiness”. Well, the results show that the happiness of people in China has increased greatly in recent years, with a survey report suggesting that the Chinese are among the happiest people in the world.

From here arise countless questions about the authenticity, the way of conducting the research, the reliability of the numbers and everything that comes to our mind, to prove or disprove any doubt as a possible trap that we would fall into and believe? ! Is that so? What do other studies say about the same topic from other sources? And what exactly is happiness and how do different societies define it? The answers to these questions present a completely different perception when it comes to “how happy are we?” and “How happy do we live in society?”

Interesting to analyze are the annual reports and surveys of the UN, in which, in recent years, Finland has been ranked the number 1 country in the world, sitting at the top in front of the group of Nordic countries, which, all are considered very happy. Totally different results from IPSOS?! But let’s not jump to conclusions!

For all these reports, research, surveys and other international indices, the only thing that counts is that the survey questions and answers must assume that people around the world define happiness and answer happiness surveys in roughly the same way. Otherwise, we will give our definition and opinion on “what kind of music do we listen to?” or “which song is better?”, and taste is usually not discussed… Well, as a result, we get colorful answers in the research. So the question arises: Are the results of public opinion polls different for the happiness index as for the answer to a question about a favorite music song?

Precisely because of this, understanding these differences gives us a much richer picture of global happiness than any index. Regardless of the reports, the top-down global picture of the happiness index provides the desired parameters that are important to researchers. The World Happiness Report 2023, an annual publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, in which Nordic countries usually rank higher than China, ranked China 64th out of 137 countries and regions this year , with 30 countries increasing compared to 2020. Information from which we draw important conclusions?!

But what are the most important parameters that show what kind of country, society, country we live in, what kind of politics our country leads, how much corruption there is in it and how much all this affects our well-being and life and makes us satisfied and happy. Relationship with friends and family always comes first. Then follows the economic, social and political situation in the country, as well as common expectations. It is here that we as a state and society fail with all our attributes, which almost year after year become more blurred and invisible.

Regardless of what and which report we read about the happiness index in Macedonia, the figures and statistics match in all of them. We’re last on all the charts, cemented at the bottom, no competition. If we cannot compare with highly developed countries, we will take our Balkan surroundings as a model… And here we are the unhappiest! Such polls are a typical example and manifestation of a rotten and dead state, in which corruption has penetrated into every pore of society.

Mistrust in government policies, mistrust in justice and prosecutors, stagnation of legislative authority, chaos leading to a social collapse and the collapse of the system, which has been dysfunctional for decades… We don’t need different happiness ratios in order to we know and be sure that we are the unhappiest people in the Balkans, not to mention Europe, when the picture we live in is gloomy.

If it’s any consolation, experts know that cultures vary greatly in their definitions of happiness. Apparently ours also changes?! Therefore, it is impossible to say that one country is happier than another in any absolute sense, and a single index of the “happiest countries in the world” experts say is not a guide. And happiness can be defined and measured in different ways. Because happiness is nothing but good health and bad memory.

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