The Happiest Country

in the World



genes dictate (2) environment (2)
lane figure out go/went/gone
median incredible by the way
trip (2) point (3) co-housing
save (3) estimate say/said/said
brag brag about give/gave/given (2)
rank stress (2) drive/drove/driven
joyful interact coincidence
pride pleasure get around
retire sense (2) sense of purpose
earn hesitate see/saw/seen
proud scale (2) celebrate (2)
average up to you punctuation (2)
clock in no matter it doesn’t matter
relax equivalent rest of the time
passion count on worry/worried
lock quality (2) day/week/month off
lock sidewalk all by myself
arrest enormous feel/felt/felt
trust right (4) comfortable
wealth count (2) out of the way
design generation meet/met/met (2)
butler gorgeous take you up
estate crumble housekeeper
attitude preserve take out (2)
garbage level (3) look forward to
proof handyman find/found/found
yell stuff (2) get in his way
rage road rage think/thought/thought
tipple ambition pay/paid/paid
search baseline






Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News Senior Legal and Investigative Correspondent: “Did you know that about forty percent (40%) of your happiness is dictated by your genes. About fifteen percent (15%) by your environment.

But that leaves forty-five percent (45%) up to you.

And few have that extra happiness figured out like the Danes.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


Can a bike lane lead to a happier life?

In Copenhagen, this is how half the city gets around.

Dan Buetner, National Geographic Fellow: “This city bicycles more than any other city on Earth.”

Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News: “I mean it’s incredible. Everywhere you go, there are bicycles.

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “One point two million (1.2 million) kilometers per day. That’s the equivalent of thirty-five (35) trips around the world.

The city of Copenhagen estimates that it saves fifteen billion dollars ($15 billion) a year because people are biking to work instead of driving.”

And National Geographic’s Dan Buetner says that gives them something else to brag about: for forty years, Denmark has ranked as one of the happiest places on Earth.

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “It’s not a coincidence that people are happy here. The happiest people in the world are interacting, face-to-face, like we are right now, six to seven hours a day — you can’t do that when you’re in your car.”

But Buetner says bike are just one way the Danes make life less stressed, and more joyful.

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “When I of happiness, I think of three different qualities: 1) How much pleasure you have in your life. 2) How much pride you have with your life. 3) And living with a sense of purpose.”

Here, no job is less than any other.

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “Do you have any hesitation telling people you are a garbageman?”
Alek Kristiensen: “Uh, no. No.”
Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “It’s a job you can be proud of?”
Alek Kristensen: “Yes, yes.”

Alek Kristensen works just five hours a day, but earns the same as a school teacher.

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “On a scale of one to ten, how happy are you?”

Alek Kristensen: “I would say, eight. Yeah.”

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “Ambition is not celebrated. No matter what you do, you’re no better than anyone else.”

And while some studies show the average American clocks in over fifty hours a week . . .

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “Here on average, they work thirty-seven (37) hours. And they have a very clear punctuation between their work life and their social life.”

Lola Dang’s happiness comes from cooking dinner, just once a month. But on that one night, she has to cook for a hundred people.

But for the rest of the time, she can relax with her family in one of Denmark’s co-housing communities.

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “And they call it bothalscap; not quite a friend, but more than a neighbor. Then can count on this support. Mothers don’t have to worry so much on childcare.

And in Denmark, you get a year of year off . . .”
Reporter: “Paid?!?”
Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “Paid.”

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “Do you lock your door?”
Resident: “During the day, never!”

And on the sidewalk, all by herself inside.

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “You’d be arrested in New York.”

Here, trust is even more important than wealth when it comes to happiness. And there’s a feeling here in Denmark that nothing too bad will ever happen to you.”

Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News: “The Danes trust their government; they pay enormously high taxes.”

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “Every Dane is born with the right to free health care, free education through college, comfortable retirement.

They are free to pursue a job that meets their passion and their interests.

Alex Monroe’s passion is Fredensborg Palace, his family’s home for eight generations.

Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News: “How many bedrooms do you have?”
Alex Monroe: “Bedrooms is a very good question. It’s a very good question.”
Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News: “It wasn’t designed to be a hard one.”

He’s housekeeper, butler and handyman of this gorgeous, but somewhat crumbling estate.

Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News: “I mean you take out the garbage here?”
Alex Monroe, Handyman: “Yes, oh definitely.”

His happiness comes from seeing this part of Danish history preserved for everyone.

Alex Monroe, Handyman: “I think I would put probably myself at a seven or something like that.

I still look forward to finding the woman of my life and having a kids and that sort of stuff. My level of joy and happiness could go up.”

Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News: “There’s going to be a lot of women watching this who say they can take you up to a nine.”

And if you need more proof of just how happy they are here, look at what the garbage man does when another truck got in his way.

Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News: “We thought he was going to yell at the guy, because that is what would have happened in New York.

But no.”

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “And so Danish road rage is the got out and asked if he could get out of the way.”

Cynthia NcFadden, NBC News: “Do I need to move?”

Dan Buetner, National Geographic: “If everyone has that attitude, you have a lower baseline of stress.”

Which certainly helped me and my producer on our own search for happiness.

By the way, here in America, the amount of time we spend in our cars has tripled since the 1970s, and that is not making us happier.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *



Sadness, Sorrow. According to the reporter, people have absolutely no control over their emotions. True or false?

Stress, Anxiety.
Are cars a status symbol in Denmark?

What are the benefits of people riding bicycles?

Panic Attack, Anxiety Attack. In Denmark, many people suffer from anxiety, stress, depression and panic attacks. Is this right or wrong?

Pain and Suffering.
Do professionals and business people look down upon laborers? Do blue-collar workers feel inferior to white-collar workers?

Worry, Pessimism.
Is Denmark a welfare state? Give examples. Is this good or bad for ordinary citizens?

Doom and Gloom.
When there was a traffic problem, the drivers argued and shouted at each other. Is this correct or incorrect?


Happiness, Joy. Cycling is very popular in my city. Yes or no? Is your country similar to Denmark in terms of bicycle culture? Who rides bicycles?

Where I live, cars are a status symbol: if a person drives a luxury or sports car, he is considered to be successful, prosperous and a winner (and all the girls love him).

Meanwhile people without cars are regarded as failures, losers and nobodies (and no one wants to marry them or be their friend). Is this entirely true, mostly true, partially true, in the middle, mostly untrue or completely false?

Relaxed, Laid Back.
How happy are people in your city and country? Ecstatic, blissful, very happy, happy, in the middle, it depends, gloomy, mostly sad, depressed?

Satisfaction, Contentment, Fulfillment.
Who is the happiest person you know? Describe the happiest person you know.

Awe, Wonder.
Who are the happiest people in society? Is there a place in your country where people are very happy?

Excitement, Enthrallment, Enchantment. What can or should people do to be happier?

Fantasy, Ecstasy.
What might happen in the future?

Comments are closed.