Till death do us part with...

The great figures of old went down in lauded history not because they were billionaires, empire/ corp titans, or wielders of powerful weapons, but often because they made great contributions to human society thanks to their extraordinary qualities. These very qualities, rather than violence, power, or scheming, helped them win the hearts of generations and leave lasting influence for centuries after they were gone. Although they might not gain or claim any achievement, what they achieved is often etched on the hearts and minds of many. Those who did the opposite might be able to oppress others only for a short period of time but then would be reduced to dust or face regrettable consequences.

An Intriguing Reality

One may wonder why the opposite seems to be happening in today's world which is reigned by wealthy and powerful forces and regimes. In the West, capitalism and billionaires are taking control over billions whose lives serve mostly to line the pockets of a minority at the top. In the East, communism and authoritarians keep dominating their victims, forcing them into frivolous games only to entertain a minority at the top. In this dim picture, change-makers may have a role to play: they can choose to continue oiling the game wheels, to mind their own interests, to simply stand and watch, or to liberate the victims.

Zooming into the Brightish Spots

In a previous post, ten countries were presented from the top rankings of U.S. News. Here, a different list of countries is selected based on their rankings in the latest World Happiness Report. Each best country will be singled out for each region - North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, MENA, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia, and Oceania. Below is an attempt to briefly account for the levels of their happiness.

#1 Finland

Happiness Score: 7.82

Finland, which functions today as a parliamentary democracy, is an international leader in providing education. She ranks high for good performances in civil rights, press freedom, and quality of life.

The country’s economy is primarily geared toward free-market capitalism while also prioritizing substantial spending on social safety nets and public services. In recent years, she is still emerging from recession.

Head of State: Sauli Niinisto won the presidential election in 2012 to become the country's first conservative head of state in five decades.

Finland's president has a largely ceremonial role, but can be an important shaper of public opinion.

Social Democrat Sanna Marin took over as prime minister of a center-left coalition in December 2019. It pledges to invest in the country's generous education, welfare state, and green tech. Her government consistently achieves high approval ratings, esp. thanks to good COVID measures.

#9 Israel

#10 New Zealand

#15 Canada

#18 Czechia

#23 Costa Rica

#27 Singapore

#91 South Africa