Well, the 2023 annual Happiness Index is out – to highlight World Happiness Day, your (jaded) Eyewitness rather suspects!! You didn’t know, dear reader, there was a “World Happiness Day”?? Well, March 20 was declared such by the UN in 2011 – insisting it’s a human right that Governments must deliver to their citizens!! Your Eyewitness eagerly scrutinised the Index to discover how happy we Guyanese were – in comparison to the other 8 billion on planet Earth!
Sadly, nothing’s changed – like in previous years, Finland and a group of countries from up north are on top. WE hadn’t even been measured by Gallup Poll that puts out the report!! Maybe our local poll master can conduct one?? Your Eyewitness was certain that now we’re pumping all that oil and raking in the big dough – with the world’s rich and powerful beating a path to Georgetown – we were gonna be on the Index, way in the top tier, hobnobbing with those Nordics!! What good is having the HIGHEST growth rate in the world – and not knowing how happy we were?? A BILLION US DOLLARS pumped into the economy oughta be making at least some Guyanese happier, no??
To be frank, your Eyewitness hasn’t gotten noticeably happier – but he didn’t want to extrapolate from that limited sample of one!! And then he also has quite an endemic dyspeptic disposition!! However, he DOES read the newspapers – if for nothing else that getting grist for this daily grind! And from this vantage point, he doesn’t think our Happiness Index has moved up. Sadly, from all the choppings and killings and road rage, he thinks it might be heading downwards!! So, what gives??
Happiness is a subjective thing – only he who feels it knows it!! As Tolstoy pointed out, we’re each unhappy in our own way. Even if we have all the money in the world – like say Elon Musk, it ain’t guaranteed. Does anyone think he’s really happy?? Nobody who seeks attention THAT desperately is happy!! But your permanently broke Eyewitness still thinks he’d rather be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy!! However, the Index is quite expansive in its range of measurement: citizen engagement, emotions (wellbeing), diversity, education and families, business and economy, energy and environment, Government and politics, law and order, religion and ethics, health, transportation, communication and technology, work, and food and shelter.
Right away your Eyewitness can see why it’ll take a while for our Happiness Index – when they finally get around to taking our pulse – is gonna be in the doldrums for a while. “Citizen engagement”?? Heck…who but that bunch of spongers from Georgetown have the time to write those periodic letters on their woke pet peeves??
The rest of us gotta eke out a living!!
After the horrible genocide in the 1990s – with 800,000 persons butchered – today Rwanda’s one of the bright spots in Africa. We saw the Commonwealth holding its Heads of Government Meeting there last year, didn’t we?? And accepting Rwanda as a member, even though it’s part of the detritus of the French empire!! And that wasn’t just a reward for agreeing to accept refugees who were caught sneaking into Britain – 2000 miles up north!! Actually, it’s part of the new scramble to divvy up Africa in the twenty-first century, so as to get at its abundance of raw materials – and land!!
Well, the French ain’t giving up to the Brits just like that!! They’ve just funded the implementation of a “National Plan for the Teaching and Learning of French in Rwanda”. This was announced on the occasion of the “International Day of La Francophonie” last Monday – the same day as the “Day of Happiness”!! The initiative aims to teach French at all levels of education, from primary school to university.
From the local rabble-rousers’ costumes, looks like they’re coordinating their shutdown calls with Kenya’s and South Africa’s Opposition Leaders, Julius Malema and Raila Odinga. Kenya’s Raila’s complaining about inflation, electoral reforms, and tribal appointments in Government!!