In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 10, 2013/ 2 Tammuz, 5773

What makes U.S. so unhappy anyway?

By Reg Henry

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the more irritating popular songs of recent decades was "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin. Just mentioning the song risks putting the simple lyric in your head, to be repeated over and over until you worry it will never end and you will never be happy.

Sorry, but that song is pertinent to the topic today -- which, you will be happy to know, is happiness.

And why not? Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence put the pursuit of happiness next to life and liberty among the inalienable rights endowed by the Creator.

So how is our pursuit of happiness working out? Unhappily, not too well.

In a recent survey, the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development put the United States at only No. 6 among the world's developed economies in its Better Life Index, which measures happiness criteria such as jobs, income, housing, health, the environment and life satisfaction.

No. 6! That's not happy news. More alarming, Australia ranked No. 1, for the third year running. Crickey! Sweden was No. 2, but young immigrants to Sweden immediately cast doubt on the survey's accuracy by rioting for several days. If you had to eat fermented herrings you might riot, too.

On hearing the news, an office wag posed the question: Reg, did Australia become so happy because you left? It is possible, but that raises another question: Did America become so unhappy because I came?

Whatever my goings and comings have wrought, I'm in a unique position to judge the state of comparative happiness across the ocean. Let us consider first what makes the people Down Under so darn happy.

It is true that Australia has weathered the global financial crisis well up until this point. By the way, Australians universally call that crisis the GFC because Aussie words are often shortened, just in case the alphabet runs out of letters. So if rellos (relatives) come over to watch the footy (football) on TV, they may discuss the GFC.

But a prospering economy based on abundant resources -- iron ore, bauxite, wheat, sheep, beer -- does not explain it all, nor does the dastardly socialistic practice of providing good universal health care, including generous benefits to young mothers. There is also the matter of attitude.

In Australia, everybody says "No worries." This could be the national slogan, although other sayings convey the same message of unrealistic optimism. For example, they might say "She'll be right" after your truck slides into the billabong.

"No worries" is an expression that defies reality. To live in Australia is to live in an environment full of potential peril. Some of the world's most venomous snakes live in Australia -- the death adder, the taipan and the tiger snake. It also has poisonous redback spiders, which in the old days used to frequent outhouses -- a double horror, because if you got bitten on the bum nobody would suck the poison out.

In the north, deadly little jellyfish lurk and huge saltwater crocodiles lie in wait to gobble up fat tourists -- or even thin ones on a slow day. Then there are the bush fires -- bloody great conflagrations that would burn the socks off a wombat. Did I mention the sharks, in case you jump into the sea to get away from the fires?

It's a wonder anybody survives Australia, but I managed it somehow, although not without having some marsupials turn nasty on me.

So I came to America, leaving behind a continent where happiness is not pursued but lived, to live in one where too many people use their great gift of liberty to pursue grumpiness, just to spite the eternally wise Thomas J.

I blame politics for this. Politics is our diet of fermented herrings. You should see my emails.

Now some wise guy will write to me and say, "If you like Australia so much, why don't you go back there?" Well, obviously, because I am afraid that my truck will slide into the billabong and Bobby McFerrin won't be around to help push it out, which is fair enough given the crocodile danger.

All I am saying is that my adopted home can learn something from the no-worriers Down Under. If we laugh and don't take ourselves too seriously, we can be No. 1 in happiness, no worries. Join me in a chant please: USA! USA! Happy! Happy! Happy!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Reg Henry is a columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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