Episode Information

The Geography of Bliss
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
02/08/2008
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In this episode:

One grump's search for the happiest places in the world

 

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43:48 minutes (21.03 MB)
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Eric Weiner - Courtesy Hachette Book Group USAEric Weiner - Courtesy Hachette Book Group USAAmerica is known worldwide as the country where we have the right to the "pursuit of happiness." But does that make the U.S. the "happiest place in the world?"

NPR correspondent Eric Weiner has covered a lot of tragedies and human suffering around the world...and on the way, he became fascinated with how people experience happiness. It's an elusive idea that means different things to different people.

He went in search of researchers who are attempting to quantify happiness - and map it around the world. Do rich nations necessarily produce happier citizens? Are countries wracked by poverty also mired in unhappiness?
Today, where we live, we'll talk with Weiner about his new book - The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiness.

We'll find out what makes people happy around the world and why this self-described "grump" would go on such a search.

To see pictures of Where We Live's in-studio guests, please go to our Flickr page.

You can contact us via email at wherewelive@wnpr.org.

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I grew up in North Africa until the age of 17, even though I was born to an American family. My whole concept of happiness has never been based on high expectations of what I can get out of life. I would much rather live in a state of mind in which I do the best I can in all aspects of my life and if the results are beyond those expectations, I am pleasantly surprised, which results in feeling happy. Pursuing high expectations is a waste of time to me, I would prefer to pursue whay I KNOW I can achieve and then let the results provide me with an emotional response.

Dalinda
Greenwich, CT

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I think that personality and character type is a huge factor.
My husband is a "sanguine" I can be happy all the time almost in any situation.

I am a "choleric" and I constantly look for how life, things situations can improve ( so all people can be better off & therefore happire!)

We both have moderate expectations and find joy when life exceeds our expectations.

I also remember this saying given to me by a friend when I was in my teens:

Expect the worst but hope for the best.

I guess I took from that--be prepared but be optimistic too.

Carol in Norwich