Saturday, June 20, 2015

Earth Today - Five Countries in Heaven and Five in Hell



From the Municipality Fusch On Highway, Salzburger Land - Austria

 
There is much variation in the quality of life on our planet, from hell like conditions to heaven like conditions. At the present time if one went by the findings of IEP one might deduce that five countries are in Heaven. These five are Iceland, Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, and Switzerland. This conclusion is based on research by the Institute for economics and Peace, a Sydney based global non-profit institute. The same institute has also listed the five worst countries i.e. those that are most hell like – Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Central African Republic. There is another part of the world - Gaza -  where the situation is perhaps even more tragic than the worst of countries mentioned here but it does not figure in these lists because it does not have full recognition as a country and this discussion is based on classification as countries. However, whenever such findings are presented there is debate on the methodologies, bias and possibility of vested interests. Even non-profit organizations have to raise funds. Therefore this note will test and revise these findings somewhat based on independent considerations that do not require funding through a simple test as follows.

Infant Mortality Rates

The infant mortality rate of a country is a quick and sure way to assess the quality of life in a country. It is the cumulative effect of a lot of different things that make life what it is. A graph of the infant mortality rate of Austria is included below since this is one of the quick measures of quality of life in any country of the world. It shows the silent change that has been taking place in this country over the last past five decades. 



However referring to infant mortality rates of other countries we find that Japan and Sweden has even lower infant mortality rates (less than three deaths per thousand) but Japan has had severe disasters in recent years. However based on this data this author would tend to replace Switzerland in the list of five with Sweden. There is another reason for not including Switzerland here and that is what aappears to be its extremely dark banking and commercial side.

On the other hand, Niger and Somalia have huge infant mortality rates, some of the highest in the world (more than 100 deaths per thousand) and one may add these countries to the list of hell like countries and could easily replace Afghanistan from the previous list by Somalia. Afghanistan also does not figure in the top ten list here of displaced persons and therefore definitely does not belong to the top ten hell destinations on earth but when Somalia is added instead then all our five chosen destination for a delightful holiday fit in :)

It may be mentioned that there are a whole lot of other countries with conditions close to the best or worst as mentioned here, that would fall within the top or bottom 10 (44 countries) or 20 percent (88 countries) but they have not been mentioned here simply because of the brevity of this note. The focus of the present note has been on the top and bottom five countries of the world (a total of less than 5%). America and India do not fall in top or bottom twenty percent either and are therefore safely away from the distinction of heaven or hell. America is one of the richest and most powerful countries on earth but it seems that just as the richest and most powerful individuals are not the most peaceful and happy ones on earth similar is the fate of nations. Since most readers to this blog are from USA and India it may be mentioned that USA is approximately fiftieth from the top with an infant mortality rate of approximately 6 per thousand and India fiftieth from the bottom with an infant mortality rate of around 46 per thousand, in a list of 220 countries based on 2012 data.

The single most heavenly country on Earth:

Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vorderhopfreben_%C3%9Cntschenspitze_1.jpg

If this blogger had to choose a single best location of the planet from even these five, it would be Austria because of the Alpine climate and landscapes, the second most beautiful in the world after Himalayas (The third would go to the Northern Andes). New Zealand would have been good too but then Austria has history, is better connected, has been more stable economically and has not had the tragic earthquake that shook Kiwi land recently.  The worst on the other hand would be presently Syria without any doubt.

Individual Variations

While we have described the average conditions in some of the nations of the world so far, the conditions of individuals within nations varies so that even in the best of nations there are some persons in misery and even in the worst of nations on earth such as Somalia or Syria a few have managed to find relative peace.

A Prison building in Austria

Thus even in Austria there are some in prisons and some homeless persons. Certainly there is a difference though. In Austria if a person is homeless he does not have to live in a card box. At the root of Austrian excellence is love and compassion for its needy citizens and they provide reasonably comfortable shelters so that a homeless person does not have to live under the bridge in a card board box or on the street with a bag or shopping cart. As regards prisons they are so comfortable and loving that although gruesome crime is rare in Austria, petty theft just to get to into one is not uncommon for a free five star holiday. The picture above is one of the Austrian prison in Styria. Nevertheless, some are distressed at their prison sentence or a stay in shelters as compared to others. There are also cases of domestic or public conflict at times that can make life far from peaceful. There was news of a conflict in a nude area where some persons entered without taking their clothes off and were unwilling to display their own stuff while enjoying the sight of breasts and dicks of others.

Similarly within the most difficult of countries there are enclaves and regions of heavenly peace and beauty. The most turbulent country of Europe presently -Greece- has heavenly islands like Ikaria where the humans are some of the longest lived and happiest on Earth, and  a country with widespread poverty like India has towns and villages of heavenly goodness and beauty located at various places in the Himalayas from where emanates the voice of solace and reason from time to time for all of humanity when they are in difficulty..

Similarly even in Syria some have refused to participate in violent conflict and succeeded in getting into peaceful corners with relative peace. It is not that they all support their present government but they do not support the use of violence and perhaps would have participated in a peaceful protest of the type Gandhi advocated, if there was one, for at their individual levels they realize that violence in the pursuit of self interest leads to hell and only when it is used in self defense it has any justification.

An individual may not change the world, unless that individual acts as an instrument of the Almighty, for major changes takes place by the will of the universe but an individual may change his own self and then the Universe works to create surroundings of peace for such a person. It is by inculcating the principles of love, truth and simplicity that one finds such peace not by acquiring wealth and power for that often leads one to distress too. When a majority in a nation do this the nation as a whole becomes like paradise but in the meantime individuals may find that paradise of their own if they so decide.

It was said that Major changes take place by the will of the universe. A time may come when a city is so broken down that the Divine Architect feels that the only way to restore it is to pull it down first and build a new one. Such a thing has happened before and may happen again on a planet wide scale if the conditions so demand. At the present time humans are passing through a very unusual period in their history with a huge near unsustainable populations of seven billions, rising wealth inequalities, millions of refugees, the imprisoning, maiming and bombing of the sweetest amongst them – children. Therefore, it is possible that in the eyes of the Universe a major overhaul is on the cards very soon. This author believes it is and more about that shall be found in this other note:

  

The Message

It must be noted that these things change with time and one country that was heaven like at one time may become hell like at another. An important factor that influences conditions in any country are the laws, rules and regulations as well as the systems created based on these laws for running the affairs of the country. No doubt, the character and nature of the population has an even greater impact but that is something that cannot change in a hurry but laws can change overnight. In designing laws other countries that are not so well off presently would do well to look at the practices of these five countries and then adapt them to their own countries with some modifications to suit local conditions and culture. That would be better than designing an independent faulty law, suffering from it and then changing it with another that might cause even more suffering.

On the other hand, is there a message for the best of countries too? For sure there is, they should look at the hellish countries and note how corruption, disorder and violence has ruined them. There was a time when some of them led human civilization while it was barbarians in skins in winter and in the buff in summer strutting their stuff around the Austrian Alps :). Therefore they must continue to work on enhancing values of love, truth and simplicity if they are to, not just maintain their heavenly status but enhance it even further. Incidentally there is still much nudity in Austria (see) as is there in my novel - Nude besides the lake - Nudity has been the mark of  both barbarians or paradise as in Athens or the mythical Eden.

As regards the worst off five countries, they need not look at the laws of other countries. Unfortunately, they are too far lost into hell now, in many cases not due to a fault of the majority of people of these countries, at least not from their present lives, but perhaps a few other men or few nations that might have pushed them into this state. The only thing that can bring peace to the people of these countries quickly and effectively is not a national law but a new international law called PHICS that has been described elsewhere and is in the public domain here,

When the situation becomes like hell in a country the people who suffer most are the most vulnerable beginning with children, aged and women. People are driven out of their homes and become refugees with very sad conditions, they are the homeless on the streets of the world and when such numbers become huge it becomes incumbent upon the world to do something to help fix the situation in their countries and help restore order. That is what the law termed as PHICS in the previous link is about. It provides a practical and workable low cost plan to restore order  and peace in the life of fellow humans in distress, many sweet children, just as sweet as our own, and many aged in as much need of help as our own aged loving mothers and fathers.
But a time comes when humans as whole fail to solve their problems but rather seem to add to them (The TPP and TTIP may be just passing examples of that) , then it is time for the Lord to intervene and he may pull down a city in shambles first before erecting a new one. Those shall be the last days of the present phase of human civilization, an apocalypse. It shall appear first in the subconscious fears of mankind, but they shall assign every other reason to it from the coral reefs to climate change rather than face the truth, and mankind shall be brought to what has been described here:
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2015

Since this note, the author has developed a more precise way of ascertaining happiness levels of different countries and also quantifying them as a percentage. See:
http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2015/09/how-to-rank-countries-by-happiness.html



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