|From World Happiness Report|
According to the World Happiness Report 2023, Finland is the happiest country in the world. All the Nordic countries rank very high on the Happiness Index. The Finns might have found it hard to accept that they are the happiest people in the world. Because they are rather unsociable people who look melancholic. They don’t look happy.
But the Finns are the happiest people, according to the Happiness Report which was prepared after a long and systematic research. What makes Finland the Utopia of 2023?
First of all, the Finns enjoy the small pleasures of life. They don’t build luxurious houses, they don’t show off wealth, and they don’t compete with the neighbours. They don’t spend much time on the internet and social media. Instead, they spend time in the company of nature. Their summer holidays are all about living a simple, rustic life. A country of 56 lakh people, Finland has 32 lakh cottages most of which are located in forests near one of the 1.88 lakh crystal-clear lakes that the country is blessed with.
Secondly, the government cares for the people. There is no corruption in Finland. You get the best of everything possible from the government: education, employment, healthcare, security, pension… If you lose your job, your government will give you Rs3 lakh per month for two years or until you get another job. Education is free. So everyone gets equal opportunities. The wellbeing of the citizens is the primary concern of the government. And the citizens are honest too. So they do honest work efficiently and get more free time. The offices close at 3 pm in summer so that the citizens can go hiking or swimming which they can’t do in winter. But no work suffers because of the reduced office times. On the contrary, the Finns think that working long hours is a sign of inefficiency.
Thirdly, people trust one another. They cooperate and help one another. In their schools, children are not taught to compete with classmates but to cooperate. The politicians take public transport for travelling like the other citizens. The top leaders mingle with the ordinary people in the streets and parks and such places. The people do pay high taxes in Finland. But they get excellent returns. The taxes are used for the wellbeing of the people – not of the politicians and their cronies.
Finland teaches us how we can convert our own country into a utopia. Make every public institution accountable to the citizens instead of serving a few elites. And never forget that in the end every citizen has to play a vital role in the creation of Utopia. The Finns rank high on civic honesty, trust, cleanliness and modesty. They have great virtues and high standards of behaviour.
For a country like India whose rank on the Happiness Index is 126 out of 137 countries, there is a long way to go. It may be worth remembering that in spite of all our high-sounding slogans about Achche Din and Amritkal, we are behind Pakistan (108), Sri Lanka (112), Myanmar (117), and Bangladesh (118) on the Happiness Index. Creating a utopia will take a long time. Maybe, we can start with a bit of basic cleaning up in our government: too many of our legislators are hardcore criminals!
In the last election, earlier this month, Finland chose a conservative right-wing government. I guess, they want to protect their goodness from infiltrating evil. Sometimes, right-wing seems right!
PS. This post is part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023
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