Canucks live in No. 7 happiest nation

By Nick Craddock

Pack up the U-Haul! We should all move to Canada so we can live happier lives.

According to a report released last week by Forbes Magazine, Canada comes in at No. 7 in a list of happiest countries in the world.

The U.S. is listed at the 10th-happiest country, which explains why since I’ve moved to America I’ve struggled with bouts of depression that confine me to my bed, my curtains pulled close and the soft trickle of my koi pond the only sound in the room for 18-hour intervals.

How can I be happy when I now live in a country three rungs lower on the list of happiest countries and have the constant urge to urinate when I lay in bed because of my koi pond?

Further reading of the Forbes article explains that the Legatum Institute, a London-based think tank which began compiling this happiness data five years ago, used 89 variables across eight subsections to determine the levels of happiness, or what Legatum called its “Prosperity Index.”

Essentially, the key finding from the study was that happiness is a largely complex concept that results from a confluence of elements (an astonishing discovery!).

Sandwiched between the U.S. and my home and native land on this list are the Netherlands and Switzerland. Frankly, with decriminalized drugs and Amsterdam’s red-light district, I’m surprised the Netherlands is not ranked slightly higher.

Rounding out the top 10 are: Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

It seems if the U-Haul could make the trip across the Atlantic to Scandinavia, there’s no way we could be miserable. I somewhat envy their idea of happiness, which begins with growing a full beard and enjoying canned herring; and really, what Norwegian could force a frown when he gets to use the word “fjord” on a regular basis.

Legatum discovered some surprises, too. Half the population of Nepal is happy, despite a 46 percent unemployment rate (to be fair, Nepal made my list of 10 Most Delusional Countries), because happiness also stems from perspective.

Truth be told, I’ve lived an equally happy life in Canada and the U.S. I can certainly believe that those Canadians not living in the chilly interior of the country are No. 7-in-the-world happy, but I’m surprised that those Canadians in the far north, particularly during the winter, are not offsetting the happiness level. I suppose they haven’t yet resorted to drowning their sorrows in vodka and borscht like the Russians have.

In actuality, happiness shouldn’t depend on what state you live in, but rather your state of mind when you wake up each morning and decide what to make of your life.

Or money. Happiness could depend on how many briefcases of bills, stacks o’ Benjamin’s, satchels of diamonds, etc., you have, too. Some people simply don’t care about the finer things in life so long as they can “make it rain.”