An article caught my attention the other day on the happiest nations in the world. The conclusion of their article was that money can buy happiness and they listed the five happiest countries and they had great economies, such as Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, etc. who were doing great money wise. But, they were puzzled, about the sixth happiest country in the world, they just couldnít figure out why it was happy. It was Costa Rico.
Why was Costa Rico so jolly? The article just couldnít wrap its brain around it. Costa Rico had a high poverty rate, yet they were a happy people. The average income was almost $11,000, not like the other happy countries that had an average income of at least $36,000. It seemed, studying it out, they concluded that Costa Rico did not base their happiness on money. Money was not necessary for them to be happy. The difference, the article said, was that their social structure was very tight. They loved their families and friends, this was what was important to them, and they were content and they were happy. They were the only country in the Americaís that was considered happy.
You might say that it was really the tropical climate that made them so happy. Checking on that, they have two seasons, winter and summer. The difference in the seasons was that summer was a few months when it didnít rain much. Winter was a lot of months when it really really rained, and in some places constantly. So, the weather wasnít exactly what was making them happy.
Now, I canít help thinking, the article really needed to check on how many goats was in this country. Being a goat farmer, my thoughts of goats are natural. What makes me happy is if I have goats. True, Iím not so happy when they accidentally knock me over the hill or if Iím backing up to study a goat and flip over one lying behind me chewing her cud.
And, there are those times when they are too smart for their own good and they know I am carrying dewormer to worm them with and they take off. Or, if I am innocently carrying a feed bucket and I get mugged by my own goats.
But, I guess itís true, we and the goats are a tight knit group. Maybe thatís the cause of our happiness. We keep a closed herd, except for adding new bloodlines through the bucks we buy. I know each and every goatís mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great great grandmother, great great great grandmother and so forth and all their different daddies.
You sort of wonder what kind of questions the article asked the nations to decide who was the happiest. Iím glad Costa Rico came through with flying colors, even though they are considered an impoverished nation. Maybe they are like many of us goat farmers, thankful for a roof over their heads, clothes on our backs, something to eat, plenty of family and friends who love us, and we keep thanking the good Lord for all His many blessings. An attitude of thankfulness can make a person very happy.
So you have a whole nation of thankful people in Costa Rico, a poor country with a literacy rate of 97%, well over eighty some percent who trust in God, who love their family and friends, a democracy, and who protect their lands, greener than most all the nations.
Looks like money isnít everything after all. Now, go out and hug your goats, or at least be thankful for what you got. You just might end up being known as the happiest person or farm in the valley.