Saturday, March 24, 2018
A painting, a song & the happiest people
This did not set out to be a post about Finland. It began by accident when I learned that Finland has replaced Norway as the country with the "happiest" people and chose to probe into it a bit. I then decided a good way to illustrate the post would be with a painting by a noted Finnish artist. When I saw this piece -- "Kesailtana" (Summer Evening) -- done in 1883 by Albert Edelfelt, I ended my search: I love water / I love boats / I love a full moon / I love history / I love women .... I guess that sort of covers it. Edelfelt's works often were scenes from Finnish history, and many credit his art with bringing the culture of his country to international attention.
By coincidence, a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland, Nightwish, is in the midst of its "Decades World Tour." It will perform in Saint Paul next Friday. I will be there to watch/to hear the concert. Already videos are appearing on YouTube from shows held at earlier stops on this tour, and I have selected the song, "The Kinslayer," from March 16 in Philadelphia for this post. Floor Jansen is the vocalist. Frankly, I think Nightwish without Tarja Turunen is just another band among many good ones, but not a great one. Also present is a video which has Tarja doing the same song at the Taubertal Open Air Festival near Rothenburg, Germany, in 2005 .... after viewing these two performances, make your own judgment.
Finally, according to a profile compiled by the United Nations, Finland is the home of the happiest people in the world. Read on to learn more about that.
Find me some happiness .... please ....[Part 1 of (maybe) 2]
Anyone looking for a definition of the word "happiness" probably will be disappointed. According to the Oxford and other dictionaries, the definition is this: "The state of being happy."
A list of synonyms include these: "Contentment, pleasure, contentedness, satisfaction, cheerfulness, cheeriness, merriment, merriness, gaiety, joy, joyfulness ...." The list goes on to include several other words, but I assume you get my drift.
I have my own thoughts/beliefs/feelings about the concept of happiness. Since the birth of this blog, they have appeared here with every post .... on the right as the reader views this page under the heading, "Happiness is momentary, from Fram."
For me, happiness always has been an elusive quarry and I really do believe it is momentary for most of us, if not actually for all of us. Whatever .... it interested me when I recently read that Finland has moved ahead of Norway as the county whose people are ranked the happiest in the world.
The list has been compiled annually since 2012 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the United Nations. To make the list, statisticians rank six variables: Income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom and generosity.
Right behind Finland and Norway -- who was first on the list last year -- in the rankings are Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Austrailia, Austria, Costa Rica, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the United States, which fell from 14th to 18th this time around. The United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates round out the top twenty.
A few others .... France is 23rd, followed by Mexico; Brazil comes in at 28th; Spain at 36th; Poland at 42nd; Italy at 47th; Romania at 52nd; Russia at 59th; China at 86th .... and on and on and on ....
At the bottom of the list are Yemen, Tanzania, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Burundi.
Anyone who is curious about this report can do a bit of research and find it on the internet.
As for me, I do not think it will help me or change me if I should pack up, pay up and move off to another country like Finland or Norway. The only solution for me, I am guessing, would rest in genetic manipulation .... and, I sincerely doubt that will be available any time during my life time ....