Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mexico - Happiest People in the World?

When you turn on the TV these days, bad news seems to be all you hear.  The economic meltdown and financial crisises of the world, rising unemployment, natural disasters, murders, narcoviolence - the list goes on and on. 

While watching the nightly news this week, I saw something that caught my attention.  According to a study by Coca-Cola, Mexico has the happiest people in the world.

One of the biggest differences I've noticed in my travels back and forth between the US and Mexico over the past few years is the happiness of the people.  No matter how bad the situation may seem, Mexicans continue to have a good attitude.  We can attribute part of this to the fact that Mexicans have been through financial crisises (la crisis!), devaluations, etc before so they know what its like.  My generation has never experience a financial crisis in the United States before, so this is a new experience for the majority of Americans.  Mexicans aren't accustomed to living beyond their means, while Americans are used to charging everything on credit (many times buying what they can't really afford).  The tremendous financial pressure that Americans are facing these days has affected personal relationships in a big way.

The intense interpersonal relationships that exist in Mexico are key to happiness.  Someone I know made the observation that the close knit families give people the reassurance that no matter what happens, at the end of the day, they will still be surrounded by a family that loves and supports them. 

Happiest countries in the world (according to Coca-Cola):

1.  Mexico
2.  Phillipines
3.  Argentina
4.  South Africa
5.  Romania
6.  USA

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