A happy story: the happiest person in America

I heard this story on NPR, which all by itself is a reason to keep funding NPR. NPR got the story from the New York Times. Everyone’s a news aggregator these days, including me.

It seems that the Gallup organization has been doing a demographic study asking what factors make Americans happy. Gallup found that men are happier than women. Tall people are happier than short people. Older people are happier than middle-aged or young people. The happiest marital status is married with children. The happiest income status is “over $120,000.” The happiest occupation is self-employed. The happiest state in which to live is Hawaii. The happiest ethnicity is Asian. And the happiest religion is Jewish.

So the New York Times went looking for a tall, old, married with kids, Asian, Jewish guy, who’s self-employed with high income living in Hawaii.

They found Alvin Wong, 69, a 5-foot-10 inches tall Chinese-American kosher-observant Jew, who was referred to the Times by his synagogue. He is married with children and owns his own successful health care management business in Honolulu, Hawaii. He confirmed to the New York Times that he is indeed a very happy guy, and the Times then proclaimed him “the happiest person in America.”

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I particularly like this story because I fit many of the same demographic characteristics as the happiest person in America. I like Hawaii a lot. And I’m newly interested in studying the Torah.

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