tv Worlds Apart RT July 7, 2019 6:30am-7:01am EDT
this interest institutional official interest in happiness was in part due to the realisation that while we convert into happiness in fact i would argue that they may be an opposite correlation because in some developed countries you see the increase in the levels of depression self harm suicide do we really understand that these point a relationship that when they cannot make wellbeing and people's happiness or unhappiness matter i don't think we fully on distances and there's a lot of complexity in there but on average we see this group as groups the richer countries are happier but there's a lot of variance with the in both the rich country group and the poor country so i think in the beginning it makes a lot of sense for governments to focus on reducing poverty and lifting people out of poverty i think once we get to a certain income level i think it makes better sense to focus on our other areas and in addition we can also see that. there are differences among countries.
their ability to convert wealth into wellbeing so investing in the right things that brings quality of life for some people you mention that there is a variance between rich and poor countries but there's also a great deal of diversity when it comes to happiness right a moment the developed world and countries like your own country mark or your neighbor is finland norway the consistently ranked higher than. other democratic western countries like for example the united states or south korea for that matter and this is where i think gets a little bit ideological what kind of an economic system what kind of a capitalist system is more conducive to. social wellbeing is there an answer to that a clear cut answer to that so what we did see in the world happiness report is that there is a group of countries that do consistently well when it comes to life satisfaction
the nordic countries finland sweden norway iceland but also the netherlands switzerland canada new zealand australia all doing quite well and you're right the us i think currently ranking nineteen's i think russia's place 68 so this seems to be something that is working with some of the nordic countries one of the areas is. well. investing in education investing in universal health care think the nordic countries they're by no means perfect but i think they're doing some things right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives i know that in the latest world happiness report on mark was pushed. by finland do you have any sound so what allowed the fence to get ahead of you. i mean i'm not sure whether we've got a list happy happy. but i mean the top.
of the 2nd decimal when we look at the absolute happiness numbers that sets those countries apart so i'm happy for them and. happy for the danes as well. and you know we can try to become happier or we can try and make the less happy i would go with the 1st i mean whether it is. you know combined population would be alas the number of people living in the city in moscow or let's say in new york do you think it's a meaningful comparison to. try to see how let's say russia is doing compare it because you know creating a good life for 5000000 people is very different from trying to do the same for several hundreds of thousands let alone 1300000000 as in china perhaps but i think it does make sense to compare because whether you are 5w1cw i think people who.
all want social connection i think they want a healthy life expectancy that as long as they want low levels of corruption i think they want a society that is generous i don't think that is different in a big country compared to a small but i mean within the smaller country it's easier to control for always variables than let's say in a country that has 11 time zones and when every region has its own regional and ethnic specific i think it is easier to. create those conditions for 500000000 definitely you will see a bigger level of both here in russia and also in the us in terms of where the population want the country to go so there are some advances in being a smaller country in that sense now you mention the united states in the latest world happiness where there is
a chapter on of well being and political behavior which essentially says that we don't know enough about this relationship i wonder you don't know in a way how close that knowledge gap that's the press and. the new case study when it comes to engaging or perhaps using the and happy people there's a lot of things to unpack there actually one of the conclusions also in that chapter was that the launch of the share of people within the country that. the bigger than likelihood of people voting for the existing government so it actually makes sense for governments to focus on improving quality of life focusing on improving life satisfaction for the public if they want to be reelected there is an entire new area being. looked at now that he is focusing on inequality in wellbeing. usually the rankings up based on
a national average but of course you have people above that average and you have people below that and what we see for example. a lot of countries there's a big inequality in terms of well being some people are very happy some people are very unhappy. so i think one of the key issues now for a lot of societies is an increase in polarized nation. and i think clearly the u.s. is also a case for about what i found interesting about that chapter and it goes into some specifics about the american case as well as the british case as well it's just that it's not only that sought to present himself as a champion of the sort of the deplorable and the downtrodden but it is also the case that he's a lecturer at. a lower on the subject if the questionnaire and the question that i had these what do you think is more dangerous to try to keep these people away from politics or to allow them to change politics because their
way people unhappy people express themselves in society and in politics is also very different from the way happy people. man it has themselves and many people would not like that shift i think everybody should of course take part in politics the countries that do really well in happiness rankings also have a large voter turnout and i see all voices should be represented in. what is interesting about trump's voters. when they asked. how satisfied they are with life now but also how satisfied they were were with life early on or whether life was better. i believe it's around 73 percent says that life was they were more satisfied previously. if you have that perspective whether it's true or not or whether it's your subjective opinion that of course can create a foundation for you coming out with
a political slogan that. let's make america great again whether that's the objective case or do you think it's a perm and then disposition when people are simply unhappy if or let's say political establishment is this something that could be changed by let's say trump himself is it easy to make those people who are currently dissatisfied and present for is it easy and possible to make them happy again i think it's it's possible i don't think it's so we can see there's a lot of factors that impact how you and i would answer how happy we are how satisfied we are with life. everything from genetics and age to. the choices we make on a daily basis what we choose to choose to do with the time and who we spend our time with to areas that governments can influence policies equality access to health care education and so on so it is possible but i think it takes
a lot to move the needle for people that are happy or unhappy. so i think it's a long term. so we improve quality of life i also heard you say that the day child was elected it was the end happiest day of 2016 1st of all. who suggested that how would you explain this showing because supposedly a lot of people unhappy people go out. at the ballot box so why should the majority of the population so this was a u.k. study so there's an excellent study called map in this that uses phones and people have downloaded the app and then they are asked 12 or 3 times a day how happy they are and then we can see where are people when they're happy they're happy when they're with their friends they're not so happy when they're at work they're happy on fridays they have. but they can also see over time which days they have in the. and they found we're going to have to use these christmas day
words to go with our families we had a lot of food and wine and so on but then in 2016 they looked at one of the on happiest days this year and the force on happiness they was surprising that the brits would be more unhappy about the election over president didn't know that you know that this is all your own political if you remember the majority of people in britain voted to leave so that thought they thought it was a good thing what the majority of people in the u.k. thought was. unhappy was getting elected so that sort of unified the brits well mike we have to take a very short break now but we will be back in just a few moments. is this is
a stick from the water bottle found in the stomach of the fish the brand is sponsor of the coca-cola company which sells millions of bottles of soda every day the idea was that let's tell consumers there are the bad ones there's a litter box for throwing this away industry should be blamed for all this waste to company has long promised to reuse the plastic. to cook absolutely. essential projects funded. on the. mountains of waste only grow. the problem that the financial system cost from. the rest of the world was so big that not just one central bank could make money cheap enough could create enough
artificial. money by itself and so the fed did clearly did work together with the european central bank with the bank of england with the people's bank of china leader that was kind of separate story with the bank of japan and so forth to create enough money to put into the financial system to keep it safe for itself and alternately what that did is a transferred all of that money into the banks into financial assets into burgeoning stock markets like like a ton of sort of crack into an attic up in up and never took it away and that meant someone else was going to pay on the other side and the people that paid on the other side as everyone else is. welcome back to all the part of it mike viking feet all of the happiness research institute and best selling author mike before the break we talked about the various
institutional factors that happen is but they're not the only ones perhaps not even the most important ones people as you said before it can be very happy and very and happy under the same circumstances how much of a personal responsibility happened i think we should look at happiness the same way we look at health so how long you and i are going to live essentially depends on 3 . it depends on our genetics we are predisposed for some diseases it depends on the countries we live in the cities we live in the quality of the health care you know the. pollution in moscow in copenhagen and then certainly it depends on the choices that you and i make on the do you exercise diet we smoked we drink and so on and i think it makes sense to look at happiness the same way so we also own more this happy than the policies we live on with the countries we're leaving. also
impact happiness levels we can see that the happiest countries in the world on a scale from suits attend the average happiness level is around $7.00 in a country like syria you'll have a happiness level of around 3 and then the choices we made on a daily basis i'm more concerned not so much about the choices but let's say be in mental discipline because for example we know with a exactly that some people are more prone to exaggerate than others women tend to be more anxious than men but it's also well established in psychology that you can achieve great progress if you take on a ship off your mental and emotional disposition is that the same with happiness if you want to be happy can you be happy i think there is something you can do but of course you are influenced by the conditions who live under and by your genetics there is something you and i can do to improve our wellbeing our mental health our happiness but there is also some boundaries we tempt go to syria and see that
happiness is a choice right there and i know somebody who has been to syria many times i can actually tell you that happiness for many people is a choice because under very very horrible conditions these people manage to smile they manage ship appreciate the confidence of life i don't know if they have and idea of who get it but you can actually. write so i don't believe certainly live even is. necessarily for happiness i can be very happy without smiling i think smiling is a form of communication and what we see in the data is that people are really unhappy in syria so so i think there is something we can do and try and make the best of the situation we are in but i think there is also some limitations due to our environment and the country even now in many of the lectures you mentioned several dimensions subjective wellbeing overall life satisfaction every day motions
and what aristotle referred to as you do morning in the sense of preparation just sounds of striving for good how important is the latter so it's one of the areas we actually have most trying to understand so we know we know a lot in terms of life satisfaction overall happiness with life we know a lot of what drives that and we also know quite a bit of the emotions we experience on a daily basis both positive and negative ones and how that impact lives satisfaction we know less about the mention there's also a discussion around how do we measure that level of purpose that level of meaning in life. we can see some things drive it like having kids have a wonderful positive impact on that sense of purpose. so when it comes to to life satisfaction we can see the best predictor of that from the other domains is
actually experiencing positive emotions. you also author of the bestselling book on the. concept of enjoying a little comforts of life and i think even more broadly it's kind of being able to be contented with the current moment without necessarily rushing into the future and as i was reading it i kept wondering how compatible with your demoniac can you be content and striving for good at the same time a. definitely a happiness to be found in being. content with what we have but i think it's also a happiness to be found in the pursuit of things so i'm less a fan of the pursuit of happiness i'm more fan of the happiness of pursuit i think having a goal that we're working towards is something that is good for our mood something that is good for our. satisfaction. so i think we can actually be both i mean.
there is something i don't have that i would like to create in a month but at the same time i can also be content with what i have achieved so far and speaking about who get i wonder how. old or new this concept is because the sort of the type of working life balance that exists and that america is to be honest with you unprecedented in in much of the developed world on developing it is it really be the kind of did it precede denmark's economic success or is it the result of marx having this. very balanced way of life probably more the latter but it's been a concept that has existed in danish language for 200 years. so it's not only a result of where the society is now but of course for some the good balance
between work and life in more people to. take it slow spend time with family and friends to spend 4 hours keep cooking and stew but i think the thing about the experience i've had since the book was published was that happens everywhere so i received letters from readers in russia u.s. and france and germany saying i've been having for you all my life i just didn't know there was a word for it so of course it happens here as well but what is uniquely danish is a word that describes that situation and perhaps also that danes c.d.'s pother off the national sort of cultural and identity and talk about it a lot i know that almost every interviewer asks you about tips on how to increase one's subjective wellbeing and you usually say that there is no magic bullet for all i wonder though what works for you personally are there any personal hacks into happiness i think there are different strategies and different perspectives i think
. there's something we can do and should do improve our mood here and now and i think there's a long term goal in terms of a long term perspective in terms of improving conditions for good lives i think here and now. we have a sort of mental health a.b.c. which is doing something x. and doing something meaningful and doing something together with other people seems to be a good universal recipe for improving here now how we feel of the same time i think we should look further down the line and consider how can we create a society that enables people to enable people to flourish and focusing on reducing corruption focusing on reducing the level of freedom focusing on lifting people out of poverty. goals that we should strive towards long term in addition to things that we have to strive towards i think there are also things that we should
consider with. some of perhaps and then i know you spoke a lot about social media which supposedly were aimed to make us more connected but there is now a growing body of research showing that it is having and negative impact on many people there is there are some scientists for example paul dolan of the you who argue that in 10 years' time we will speak of social media in this same matter in the same way we speak about tobacco now is something that is pleasurable in the moment but highly toxic and addictive do you agree with that i agree that. we should be mindful of how we use social media and i agree with that it can have negative consequences for our well being. so if we use social media to. compare ourselves to everybody else that. leading
these seemingly amazing lives on instagram and so on. then it can have a negative effect if we use social media. to actually be social then that might have a positive impact i think. we have to be a little more nuanced in how we look at social media or so if we say books you know books can be great and they can be horrible so i think it's the behavior is what we choose to do with either books or social media. that is the key . now i think one of the reasons why is social comparisons are so debilitating is low self-worth you know the failure to respect to be kind to yourself and i find it striking that we now have almost an epic in that mix of low self-worth in western countries most of which have based on this very idea of the intrinsic value of
human life that's actually the basis of western civilization that human life individual live has an intrinsic meaning and intrinsic value why do you think. you know in this era of progress so many people find it so hard to accept themselves checks of their lives for what it is you're right that beyond increasingly becoming expose shoe. a wide spectrum of demands and we increasingly becoming exposed to standards that is impossible as a human to live up to beauty stand it's level of income level of success and i think the as we talked about before food that social comparison becoming more pronounced. i think also intend them with that we have the expectation that when we lift people out of poverty when we became richer then we
would become happier and i think valley's what a lot of people struggling with now they expected that once they reached a certain level of income then they would be happy. and yet we create new size we create new things we want and i think. sometimes we run out of explanations for why we feel unhappy because if we have that level of income if we have that job if we have that family and so on why do we still if you are happy and then people internalize is it really all about income because if we take for example generations either the kids that are born in the turn of the century they're raised in for spirity if they have been more tempted to psychologically than any of the previous generations they tend to be more ethical they tend to gauge last in antisocial behavior is they do less drugs less alcohol they cooperate
more they work for the society they're concerned about the society more and they have they happen to be the most happiest or beat generation or the generation that's most exposed to risk off depression suicide self harm don't you think that perhaps the advice on happen is that if you had others have been giving is being negated by these very generation because the parents who raised them they should do everything right everything that's been advice to them and the trans and mental health are really really depressed. right so the different results. whether young people who are less or more happy depending on which country you look at. i think young people who are struggling a lot with high level of pressure. in the education we. see that especially in. asian countries. there's
a lot of pressure for them to excel academically. i think they're also struggling to a large extent. that i was when i was. in university for instance with comparisons in part due to social media. so so i think there are some things that have changed that. making it more difficult for people to achieve happiness but but i think it's also difficult to generalize across countries because we're also seeing some countries where the young happy and the older one well mike it's been a great pleasure talking to you thank you very much for sharing your perspective thank you encourage our viewers to keep this conversation going in our social media pages. this year again same place same time here i was a part. of .
my son doing drugs my nephew was still in drugs my sister just with doing drugs it was like an epidemic of drug abuse america's public enemy number one in the united states is drug abuse which is sort of the users in the prison population who are we started treating sick people people who are addicted to these drugs like criminals while i was on the hill i increasingly became convinced that the war on drugs. there are countless numbers of people who are in prison for. its sins for minor minor offenders in the drug trade it's
a lot watching your children grow up in issue in waves and say by daddy as you're walking out of the business it's just it doesn't get any. so the temporary orders that i'm under before i go to final trial actually do allow me to address them as james and his male pronouns but i cannot do that in front of 3rd parties who know him as a girl so basically i can't go to school i keep them away from any friends he might have at school at all there's a girl at my home he's known as james and i use male pronouns what i'm prohibited from doing right now is trying to convince him that he's actually a boy. dish you will not obey the voice of the lord your god will be careful to do all these commandments and the statutes which i command you this day in all these courses shall come upon you and overtake you. and then the white people the stolen property and death what must pretend to black people. they get rid of whites only problems will go one. little
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