Did You Know? Happiness is Linked to Peacefulness

The countries with the highest well-being tend to be the most peaceful and those with the lowest well-being are the least likely to be peaceful. The findings are from a new Gallup analysis revealing a strong relationship between Gallup’s life evaluation measure and two indicators of country stability.
Read more at GALLUP.com.

I’m sure the gun naysayers would be unhappy to see the US ranked higher on the ‘absence of violence’ graph than the United Kingdom with their tight gun control laws.

Overall, these conclusions are either self-evident or interesting. It depends upon which comes first–well-being or political stability. If people feel good about their government, they will not want to change it. That’s self-evident.

But is the corollary true: If government is stable, do people feel good about themselves? I don’t see evidence of that. Consider dictatorships.

Which begs the question, what is the definition of ‘stable’?

On a side note, one of my core beliefs is that man’s aggressive tendencies are fundamental to his survival. Throughout history, the more violent cultures have won out over their peaceful neighbors. Look at Athens and Sparta.Look at Hitler (short term, but no less destructive). The willingness to fight back, to defend ourselves with whatever means are available, the creativity to come up with new-fangled ways to protect our way of life is critical to our species. I don’t believe we want to breed that out of our genome.


2 Responses to “Did You Know? Happiness is Linked to Peacefulness”

  1. May 17, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Interesting data there. I wonder where Australia is? We usually come in around Canada or the Scandanavian countries on such studies. Internally, Australia is pretty peaceful really, I’ve seen maybe a couple of fist-fights in my life, minor ones, and the only times I’ve ever seen a gun were when they were holstered on a police officer’s hip or at some kind of military demonstration. The political situation here is far from violent, name calling is about as bad as things get.

    I’m not sure I’m on the same page about aggressiveness however. I tend to think of aggression as a base and primitive thing that we should eventually overcome through force of will. It’s this viewpoint that has gained me the nickname of ‘Mr. Spock’ at work. I understand its value as a survival tool, as an evolutionary device, but in the subjective world of morals and ethics, far from my beloved objective science, my humanitarian leanings prohibit anything but tight emotional control.

    I’ve been called an idealist with regard to my political views, largely a humanitarian based democratic socialism, but I’d rather be an example to the receptive few that there is a way to be happy without defining myself with wealth, victory or any other type of distinction other than a style of thinking intended to leave the world a slightly better, critical thinking and equitable place than what it was when I was born into it.

    Wow. Quite a rant there!

  2. May 18, 2011 at 6:56 am

    That’s interesting they didn’t list Australia, innit? Hmmm. Wonder what that means.

    I agree with you about aggression not being one of civilizations brighter characteristics. I’m thinking solely from an evolutionary perspective. I’m not sure kindness is a survival trait in the long run. I can’t think of any species that has survived by turning the other cheek. The mild-mannered Dodo bird is an example. From what I know about Gigantopithecus (I researched him for one of my books and really got to like the species. I made him a character in the story!), he was pretty easy-going, despite his size, and I don’t think that species lasted too long.

    Any thoughts on that?

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