Happiness, All Over The World

The Washington Post did a book review recently that argued that Americans are doing happiness wrong (well, we have good reason) and that people in other countries know joy better than we do. And they recommend four books that will tell us how to do happy as well as the Japanese, British, Swedish and Koreans.

There is, for example, The Book of Ichigo Ichie, which tells us that “The moment is a jealous lover that demands we give it our all.” Oh, good, something else demanding something of me, just what I needed. Or there’s the British concept of coziness which, according to the article, is less elitist than hygge because it involves things like socks and baths. I don’t know when those became British, but I’m wearing socks right now–snowstorm outside–so I’m gonna take a flyer here and say that socks are international. (Mine say, “Fight Like a Girl,” so foot-warming AND heart-warming.). Then there’s The Little Book of Fika, which celebrates taking a moment to relax. So far, this is all stuff I’ve been doing, not realizing I was so damn internationally cosmopolitan, but then I got to The Power of Nunchi, and that was new. It’s the Korean practice (according to the book) of eye-assessing or, as the essay sums it up, “Pay attention.” Now there is something I should do more of. What it has to do with happiness, though, is beyond me.

I am not buying any of those books. That makes me happy. What made you happy this week?

(I typed that damn headline because it’s late and I just needed something and now I have “There’s a kind of hush . . . all over the world . . . tonight” stuck in my head, and it hasn’t been in there in decades. Damn Herman’s Hermits. And I know all the words, which is not hard because there are only about twelve. If you don’t count the “la la la”s. Which I don’t because the la-la-las make me want to kill somebody. I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS EARWORM.