How You Can Become as Happy as a Dutch Teenager
In addition to legalized marijuana, the world's largest tulip industry, and an insanely high quality of life, the Netherlands can also count some of the world's happiest children according to a new UNICEF report.
Acording to UNICEF's Innocenti Research Centre, Dutch children are have the highest well-being of 20 developed nations in terms of familial relationships, child poverty, health, and sexual behavior.
Though happy, the ennobled position of Dutch children engenders a certain coddling in families where decisions normally ceded to adults are left to the kids. When they finally do depart the home, the transition to the real world can be an adjustment. One teenager noted the jarring transition to adulthood from the idyllic pastures of his adolescence: "I don't have much money as a student and to go out is expensive. Beer, for example, is very expensive in the Netherlands."
Countries that didn't fare so well in the survey include the United States and the United Kingdom which scored a miserable 20th and 21st respectively.
The Pew Global Attitudes Survey, the granddaddy of global surveys on happiness, polled a more mature audience than the UNICEF project and got different results. In 2007, it reported American adults were at the top of the happiness pyramid, just below Canadians, with two in three reporting themselves as relatively happy with their lives. In general, as incomes decreased in countries so did happiness.
What would big thinkers include as their criteria for gauging happiness—in adults or children? Is money the best measure or are more intangible criteria the ones to weigh?
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
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- Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
- Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
- Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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