While I was getting my legs waxed this morning, I read a report that ranks South Dakota as the happiest state in America. Apparently, the state has the lowest depression and suicide levels in the country.
I'm not surprised.
South Dakota is happy because only seven people live there. It's hard to be unhappy when the longest line you're waiting in, is one for vanity plates for your tractor.
As for suicide rates, this can't be a surprise since it's nearly impossible to kill yourself in South Dakota, a state where everyone's a camper. Have you ever tried to fling yourself off a tent? Impossible.
Meanwhile, here in New York, the pursuit of happiness makes it impossible to be happy. As long as someone is doing better, you feel rotten. But in South Dakota, there's nothing to do and no one to do it with.
And so the happiest people in the world are those who expect nothing from it. The most you can really hope for is a knowing glance from an elk — and even those beasts are fickle.
So, I have learned that if you live constantly with diminished expectations, it doesn't take much to make you smile.
Misery breeds happiness. Which is why I listen to Josh Groban.
And that's my gut feeling!