The secret to happiness? take a close look at Iceland
Once again, Iceland tops the happiness charts. And how does it do it? Simple: freedom and equality. In Iceland, its perfectly ok for a woman to have kids, and have a life of her own. Which means, its also perfectly ok for a man to have a family life. Its perfectly ok for parents to trust their kids to full time childcare from infancy. Hey, its their kids – they must know what they’re doing. And its perfectly ok for people to split up if the spark has gone, and still retain their partnership as parents.
‘Equality is really a determinate for happiness,’ says de Bruin. She believes in the freedom of personal choices, ‘In the Netherlands, we are free to choose our own life. We are free to choose our religion, our own sexual orientation, and who we marry’ and she concludes, ‘All these freedoms make us happy.’
Let me tell you a secret. This is not about feminism. It’s not women’s freedom I’m concerned about, its my own. Equality goes both ways, and so do choice and freedom. If a woman can choose to have a career, a man can choose not to. Or they can choose to both have careers, AND have kids. Happy kids.
I once had a friend, she was a 17 yr old single mum. She could have married the dad, but she chose not too. She also chose to lead a normal, healthy, adventurous 17 yr old life. I asked her if she thought that was good for her kid. She said: the worst thing for child is a frustrated parent. I learnt my first lesson in parenting that day.
Oh, about Iceland? there’s an extra bonus. The economy goes zoooom. Makes sense, when you think of it. If you release another 50% of your cognitive and enterprenoural capacity, something’s gotta come back to you.
By the way, I had a good laugh watching the Guardian struggle with his own prejudices. Precious ‘ol British left. We can have fun with the Vikings, but at the end of the day, mums and babies belong at home.