Singapore is 'happiest in Asia'--how about Singaporeans?

No duh. The answer might have been obvious for some. If Singapore is the happiest nation in Asia, surely Singaporeans are the happiest people. Or are they, really?

Not necessary. It's a matter of perspective. The author, Dan Buettner might find Singapore is the happiest in Asia. Beside Singapore, he also traveled to the other two of the world's statistically cheeriest nations (and one U.S. state) — Denmark, Mexico and California for his book, "Thrive".

Whatever this 'blue zones' means anyway?!

Visitors might find Singapore is indeed the happiest nation. Singaporeans might have factored in the effect of 'taking things for granted' and will very likely laugh happily at the notion.

Yes. That's the sad truth. People are taking this for granted. Once the novelty runs out, the source of happiness might simply be seen as "it's there, it's nothing to be happy about, it's my entitlement."

Immature? Perhaps. Thus, the need of travel. Travel, Singaporeans, travel! And by travel, I mean to those exotic places not for spending time in a luxuriously lazy resort, but to observe the way the other countries are & the way their people live.

Then perhaps, Singaporeans would close their eyes, tap their heels together three times and cheerfully exclaim that "There's no place like home."

Partially quoted from NPR, "How To 'Thrive': Dan Buettner's Secrets Of Happiness" on the mention of Singapore:
He also traveled to Singapore for the book, finding that the citizens there responded well to the stringent law enforcement.

"What you have here is a place that's very secure. Evolutionarily speaking, we are more hard-wired for security than freedom," he says. "So in Singapore, while you can't buy pornography, a woman can walk any street day or night and be completely secure that she's not going to be raped or mugged.

And there's also tax laws in place that encourages people to stay closer to their aging parents. That way the elderly are taken care of and happier, and it turns out the way socialization works, we get more satisfaction retroactively socializing with our parents than anybody else."

And from NatGeo News Watch, "Secrets of the Happiest Places on Earth":
In a nutshell, what are a few of the things about Singapore that make it stand apart?

The leadership there supremely understands how the Confucian mindset works, and has created an environment for people to live out their values. But there are also several universals we learn from Singapore. Number one: From an evolutionary point of view, humans are hardwired to prefer security over freedom. You tend to get one or the other.

Singapore's a very secure place. You can't buy pornography at will, but a woman can walk any street in the middle of the night and be certain she won't be raped or mugged. Children can playgrounds and parents don't have to worry about them being snatched. That sort of peace of mind is very important when it comes to happiness.

There's a very high level of home ownership. Ninety percent of Singaporeans own their own home--another source of security. The tax structure is such that you get tax incentives to live close to your aging parent, so seniors are taken care of at a higher level. And it turns out the research shows that we're happier when we socialize, and we get the most satisfaction from socializing with our parents. So everybody's happier. To a certain extent, it's the result of some social engineering on the part of a very clever man and his team, and that man's name is Lee Kuan Yew.

WHEN American explorer and author Dan Buettner began researching Asia's cheeriest spot for a book on the world's happiest places, he had assumed he would be boarding a plane for spiritual Tibet, exotic Fiji or mysterious Bhutan.

Instead, he found himself in a country some Americans would consider a restrictive nanny state, known more for caning criminals and banning chewing gum than for its sunny disposition.

From Straits Times, "S'pore is 'happiest in Asia'".


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