THE SE­CRET OF HAP­PI­NESS...

Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

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 kpasqual­i­jones@gulfnews.com

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