Guy Kawasaki points to a world map of happiness produced by Adrian G. White, a University of Leicester psychologist. Canada is number ten, right after Brunei. Denmark is number one, the US is number 23 and France is number 62 (no shock at all)…only twenty positions ahead of China…which is eight positions ahead of Japan.
Guy uses a shot of the Little Mermaid statue that sits on a rock in the harbour of Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen. It brought back memories of my only time in Denmark, in the summer of 1964. I was almost nine, on a family camping trip with my family. (We moved to Europe in 1963 and lived there ’til 1968 on three different Canadian NATO bases.) Copenhagen was such a beautiful city – and Tivoli Gardens was a child’s paradise.
The Danes, however, were probably not the happiest people in the world that summer. Vandals had cut off the head of the Little Mermaid. A site that was rather traumatic for an 8 year old. (Although not quite as nightmare producing as the statues in Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway, that I saw the next week.)
Our Copenhagen campsite was actually right in the town (and I vaguely remember it having a salt water swimming pool or there being one nearby…rather strange.) I was playing soccer (football) with a number of other kids in the camp grounds when a particularly hard kick of the ball hit me in the stomach, knocking the wind out of me. A very kind Dane, who, with his young family, was staying in the park with his huge caravan (travel trailer) and Land Rover, carried me back to my parents. His name was Jacob Jacobsen, grandson of Carl Jacobsen – the man who’d commissioned the Little Mermaid. Jacob was named after his great grandfather, the founder of Carlsberg Brewers – and was doing a world tour with his family. The side of his caravan had a map of the world – with the countries they’d already been to, coloured in. Somewhere in storage, I have a Carlsberg pin given to me by Jacob. Great memories!
All of this triggered from a Guy Kawasaki post. And, gee, come to think of it, I am a lot happier.