Friday, September 3, 2010

Happiness - Thais Vs Americans

Article by Cassandra James, an American living in Thailand :

As an American Living in Thailand, I've Often Wondered Why a Poorer Country like Thailand Has Happier People Than the USA

Since I moved to Thailand years ago, I've become a happier person than I was when I lived in America. Most Americans who live in Thailand say the same thing. As an American living in Thailand, I've always noticed how much happier Thai people are too than your average American who always seems to be upset about something. Thousands of western expats move to Thailand every year and, in my opinion, the happiness of the Thais and the relaxed culture has a lot to do with it. But what makes Thais so happy as a people? And why are Thais happier than your average American? It has to do with the culture and their religion - Buddhism.

Thai Culture - Thailand is known world-wide as one of the world's most relaxed countries and as having some of the world's happiest people. The Thai phrase "Mai bpen rai" is used by Thais hundreds of times a day and it means "Don't worry" or "Never mind. Consequently, Thais don't worry about things and so, they're happy. Most Thais are calm, relaxed and don't lose their tempers (or minds) over stupid things they can't control. After all, "Mai bpen rai" - don't worry.

Politics? Why would a Thai worry about that? They can't change who's in office, as none of us can in the west either, so why waste time worrying about it? When it's election day they vote, then they have to live with the consequences. Simple really.

Their job? Why would a Thai worry about that? They work hard, yet they have a great time at work. In most Thai jobs, the people they work with become friends and extended family, so going to work is fun. They do their best, they enjoy their jobs and other than that, why worry?

The Muslim extremist violence in the south? Why would a Thai worry about that? The government is working to try to solve it and, although it's sad that innocent people are being shot and bombed on a regular basis, they have no power to change that other than vote for people who hopefully can. So, why worry?

And you know, Thais have a point.