To those young men and women and idealists of all sorts who looked longingly at the first wave of the Arab Spring:
Here, courtesy of the United Nations via Ahram Online, is a sobering statistic:
A report published by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network has listed Egypt as the 130th most happy nation out of 156 surveyed.
Egypt’s happiness rate dropped by 21.2 percent in comparison with 2005-2007, according to the 2013 World Happiness Report which was published in September.
According to the report, countries in the Middle East and North Africa have witnessed a decrease of nearly 60 percent in their “happiness rate.”
In today’s day and age, much of what can be considered happiness is tied to the feeling of belonging to and working for good in something greater than oneself. I certainly understand how the heroic example of the Arab Spring qualifies.
For those living this reality, however, it is not working out so well.
This is a good reminder of two things: Commitment must outlast the temporary vagaries of ‘happiness’, and, it is very important to chose that commitment wisely.