The attitude of happiness ?

So recently I was on a vacation and part of the vacation I traveled to Cambodia.

Maybe something you should know about this little country, in the late 70’s and through the 80’s this little country went through a horrific civil war and mass genocide.  Estimates are that nearly half the population was wiped out.  If you read the history, you can interpret a different view on the history and see a bit of a different story, depending on where your political beliefs lie.

There is no question, that at the hands of the Khmer Rouge the largest number of Cambodians were murdered.  However, the Khmer Rouge weren’t the only ones responsible for Cambodian deaths, American bombings, and the Viet Cong both took their toll… However, a dead person is a dead person, regardless what faction killed them, either directly or indirectly.

Today, here in this little country, there is hardly a family alive that is a complete family.  Missing grandparents, uncles/aunts, parents and siblings, murdered.  However, it’s here where you can see something amazing.

Happiness. people1

Don’t believe me ? Then travel there yourself and go see it.

Everyone that we encountered and talked to where happy !

It looks impossible doesn’t it.  Well add to the fact that approximately 30% of Cambodians are living below the poverty level (which was defined at earning less than 75 cents a day – Yes, 75 CENTS ! ). And that the average income is approximately a dollar a day.   Now as you read this, tell me how much you spent the last time you went to a movie, or out for a coffee ?   You lead a very privileged life in the eyes of a average Cambodian.

So where does this happiness come from ?

Well if you think its from earning piles of money I would have to argue with you on that, based on what I just saw.

So let’s try again… I think, that happiness can be an attitude.  That’s right, you may think that attitude has a negative connotation, as in “Don’t give me attitude”, but based on the dictionary description:


  1. A settled way of thinking or feeling, typically reflected in a person’s behavior.
  2. A position of the body proper to or implying an action or mental state: “the boy was standing in an attitude of despair”.

I think that having attitude can be a good thing.  Try this on…

You can choose to have an attitude for being happy.  What do you think ? Let me ask you this… do you know of that one person, where, when they walk into a room, the whole room just gets livelier ?  The opposite could be true too, but I’m more focused on that person that brings a ray of sunshine where ever they go.  Everyone just becomes a bit happier and a bit friendlier.  You know that person.  Why do you think that is ?

_CA38712I’m not saying I know who you are thinking about, but I’m betting that it isn’t because they have loads of cash and are just dripping with wealth.  I’m betting it’s because they choose to be happy and to bring that forward.  They have attitude to being happy, it’s their disposition/behaviour.

Ever heard of Bhutan ?  No, well don’t feel bad.  It’s a very small country between China and India very close to Nepal.  Bhutan has elected a government whose platform was based on “Gross National Happiness”.  I know, it sounds odd but it’s for real.  Read it here.  Their idea is “Improving life in a holistic approach”.  Bhutan is not a resource rich nation whose citizens accumulate great financial wealth; however, instead of focusing on richness in dollars, they have chosen to focus on the richness of life/wellness.  I’m betting that if you invite Bhutan to a party they would liven it up.

Something I wanted you to think about as you go about your day.

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