Well, for a decorated United States military veteran and philanthropist, Steve Maraboli happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.
It is in the news that the Gambia has bagged the happiest country in West Africa and the 8th happiest country in the entire African continent.
This is contained in the10th edition of the World Happiness Report 2022, a publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
The award is a well deserved one. Generally, Gambians are friendly and peaceful in nature. And it is widely accepted that Gambian smiles are genuine smiles.
The Gambia is among few countries, if not the only, where foreigners would just enter any compound during lunch time or any other time of the day and would be offered something to eat for free. The people are accommodating and are always willing to share and care with others.
However, this report, which was written by a group of independent experts, concluded that the findings are based on global survey data on how people evaluate their own lives in more than 150 countries worldwide.
Many would attest to the fact that The Gambia like some countries on the continent has been unhappy especially with the political situation during the 22 years of authoritarian rule under former president, Yahya Jammeh. However, this did not change us as the people of the Smiling Coast.
His 22 year was marred with forced disappearance, tortured, maiming and force, force exile of journalists and even those viewed to be his opponents. The populace, majority of who live in abject poverty with some finding it difficult to have two meals a day, break the yoke of that dictatorship in 2017, with the coming of a coalition government led by Adama Barrow.
Five years on, Gambia is beginning to recover from decades long wounds through the process of healing and reconciliation.
Ranking the countries, the researchers examined several factors such as generosity, the perception of corruption, social support, healthy life expectancy at birth, GDP per Capita, and freedom to make life choices.