THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS...
As the 28TH HAPPIEST country in the world out of 156 countries, the UAE is already uniquely poised to rise up the ranks – and with a WOMAN leading the way, it should be a FUN and EASY journey
Wives, mothers and daughters have long known it. Colleagues, bosses and peers allude to it, and experts now have a name for it – the happiness gender gap. The fact is women are happier than men. Scientists say it’s the result of men having to suppress their emotions while out hunting and gathering while we all still lived in caves. I say it’s because we women are lucky – we are wired to appreciate what we have, and can find happiness everywhere.
It’s why we rush to post countless pictures of our babies gurgling, our pets posing and our latest lopsided cake that we spent all afternoon icing, on Facebook. It’s why we keep every scribble our children have ever drawn for us, so we can pore over them, smiling, years later. And it’s why I still have the first love letter my husband ever wrote to me nearly 20 years ago.
It’s short – just I love you on the back of a napkin – hastily scrawled while I went to the restroom in a café a few weeks after we first met in London. But it made me happy then, and still does now, whenever I come across it in the memory box I keep on the top drawer in my closet.
Nestled alongside is a tiny nappy from the first box I ever bought my son when he was newly born. He never wore it, of course, but I remember struggling to fasten ones like it on him as he squirmed on the hospital bed. He was a bruiser of a baby I’d feared I might lose after he was born with the umbilical cord wrapped twice tightly around his neck.
Happiness almost paralysed me when I heard his first scream, and saw the blue tinge of his skin turn to scarlet, and his tiny arms flail. I didn’t stop smiling for his first month even though I was delirious from exhaustion and had no idea how to care for this precious little boy.
Since then the smallest of acts can make my chest thud with delight – a hug from that boy (now a teenager almost taller than me and as grumpy in the morning as any 13-year-old can be), a beautifully written article like the one on the happy gender gap on page 22 and the sound of my little girl singing along to her favourite Taylor Swift tunes.
I’m glad that the UAE has appointed a Minister of State for Happiness, Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi. As the 28th happiest country in the world (out of 156 countries) we are already uniquely poised to rise up the ranks – and with a woman leading the way, it should be a fun and easy journey. Be happy!
Until next week,
Karen Pasquali Jones Editor firstname.lastname@example.org