Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

By Alan Levy, August 1, 2010

Canada is tied with Israel (and Switzerland and Australia) as the world's eighth happiest country out of 155 surveyed, according to a Gallup World Poll posted by Forbes last Thursday, July 31, 2010.

Now just think of this. Either we are a country of chronic complainers or Israelis are smoking something that is not legal. Israel is a country that has missiles shooting into it y, is the target of repeated terrorist attacks and  is a country where  citizens from the ages of 18 to 45 can be called up at any time for military service. And they are as happy as we are?

The four-year Gallop survey asked thousands of respondents in the 155 countries to give a "life evaluation" score between one and ten, and cataloged their daily feelings to decide what percentage of people in each country were "thriving, struggling, or suffering." The survey was taken between 2005 and 2009.

It was long been known by social scientist that we Canadians have a tremendous sense of entitlement concerning what our lives should be. Have we placed too many stressful pressures on ourselves for material wealth and career success that we have actually began to destroy the advantages and happiness we should have living in our wonderful country?

We have one of the higher rates in the world as a country in the consuming of anti- depressants. Why I ask are we so unhappy? Most of us have jobs. Our country gives free public education and health care. Sure our country is not perfect but it is better than most. One would certainly believe that an Israeli has more to worry about than the average Canadian. Do we just expect too much from ourselves and our society? Are we allowing our greed not to see how much the sun does shine on us?

J. Robert Moskin, former foreign editor for Look magazine defined gratefulness in this fashion:

Gratefulness – the simple response of our heart to this life in all its fullness – goes beyond boundaries of creed, age, vocation, gender, and nation.

We need to relearn from our grandparents’ generation the meaning of gratefulness. For this is the secret to happiness and why Israelis are as happy as us; they know what gratefulness is. It’s another day lived in some form of peace. It is a smile from child or grandchild. It’s the love of life regardless what state your life might be in! As a patient in palliative care originally from Africa told me when I was a Hospital Administrator in Toronto: Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.

Yes indeed let us say grace every day for what we have and fullness shall only be around the corner.

Editor’s note:  Not only did Israel tie for 8th place in the survey, but it far outstripped its neighbors in happiness, with Jordan ranking 52, Lebanon 73, Egypt and Syria 115. The Palestinian Territories were 88 on the list. The US ranked number 14 on the list, ahead of Britain, 17.  Iran came in at the middle, with 81. War-torn Iraq ranked 110, and Afghanistan 115.

Assoc. Professor Alan Levy BA, MIR,LLM Human Resources, Labour Relations & Dispute Resolution, Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Arts
Brandon University.

<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Royal Bank
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • JNF Manitoba / Saskatchewan
  • JCFS
  • JCFS Winnipeg
  • Orthodox Union
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Sobey's
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Safeway Tuxedo
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgleish
  • Lipkin Family
  • Booke + Partners
  • Red River Coop
  • Gislason Targownik
  • Janice Morley-Lecomte
  • James Teitsma
  • Obby Khan
  • Jon Reyes
  • James Bezan
  • Markus Chambers
  • Ross Eadie
  • Ted Falk
  • Artista Homes
  • Fetching Style
  • Chisick Family
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Bob and Shirley Freedman
  • Shinewald Family
  • MLT Aikins
  • MLT Aikins
  • Myers LLP
  • Levene Tadman Golub
  • Charach Family
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Preventative Health First
  • Lanny Silver
  • Josef Ryan
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Holiday Inn Polo Park
  • Bruce Shefrin Interior Design
  • PFK Lawyers
  • Commercial Pool
  • Simmonds and Associates
  • CVA Systems
  • CdnVISA Immigration Consultants
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Dr. Brent Schachter and Sora Ludwig
  • Clear Care Periodontal
  • Shindico
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Lazar Family
  • Superlite
  • Chochy's
  • Nick's Inn
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Global Philanthropic
  • Abe and Toni Berenhaut
  • Peerless Garments
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Roseman Corp
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • kristinas-greek
  • Broadway Law Group
  • West Kildonan Auto Service
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.