Last October, there was an episode on the Oprah show about the lives of women around the world, featuring Copenhagen, Istanbul, Dubai, Toyko, and Saõ Paulo. I happened to record the show that day, but unfortunately, the first few minutes got cut off, so I only saw the last part of the piece on Denmark. But I was very impressed with what I saw. Denmark has gained notoriety over the past few years as the happiest country in the world, based on the results of a sociological data mining study released back in 2006. OK, so it's true that they pay significantly more taxes than we do, but they don't have to worry about losing their homes if they become unemployed, and they don't have to worry about health care. I wouldn't mind paying higher taxes if I could have that peace of mind!
Two other things about the Danes that I really admire: 1) Since they have such an excellent social system, they can be whatever they wanna be when they grow up. If you want to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist, that's great! But if you want to be an artist or a firefighter or a fisherman or work in a restaurant, that's great, too! You don't have to sell your soul or work your a$$ off to have something. You can follow your bliss in Denmark. See this video clip for an explanation.
And: 2) The Danes ride their bicycles. They ride them in all kinds of weather, too, apparently. I accidentally found this blog called Cycle Chic from Copenhagen tonight and I'm loving it! Seeing these photos of people riding their bicycles - even in the cold winter - makes me want to get out my bike! Hey, they even cycle in mini-skirts and heels! You gotta love it.
I've never been to Denmark - not yet, anyway. Maybe I should check it out. I like the lifestyle, I like the benefits. I like the cookies, the ham, and the cheese. The herring might be a little problematic for me, though. But then again . . . I might just get used to it.
Special shout-out to my friend Tracy for giving me the idea to write about this topic when she mentioned she'd recently seen a re-run of the Oprah episode mentioned at the top of this article! :-)