Tag Archives: gratitude and happiness

This is how much money it takes to be better off than half of world population

In a bill-signing event in New York last August 15, New York’s Demonrat governor Andrew Cuomo, a rumored 2020 presidential candidate, said: “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.”

Some millennials agree.

On this Thanksgiving Day, let’s look at how Americans compare with the rest of the world in wealth.

If you have just $4,210 to your name, you’re better off than half of people around the globe. The total world population in 2018 is 7.7 billion. That means if you have $4,210, you have more money than 3.85 billion people.

Kathleen Elkins reports for CNBC, Nov. 19, 2018, that according to the 2018 Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse Research Institute:

  • A net worth of $4,210 makes you richer than 50% of the people in the world.
  • A net worth of $93,170 puts you in the top 10%, richer than 90% of people.
  • A net worth of $871,320 puts you in the global top 1%, richer than 99% of the 7.7 billion in the world.

As the Global Wealth report puts it:

While the bottom half of adults collectively owns less than 1 percent of total wealth, the richest decile (top 10 percent of adults) owns 85 percent of global wealth, and the top percentile alone accounts for almost half of all household wealth (47 percent).

The report defines net worth or “wealth,” as “the value of financial assets plus real assets (principally housing) owned by households, minus their debts.”

The United States continues to lead the world in wealth:

(1) The average wealth per adult over a lifetime in the U.S. is $403,974, while the median wealth per adult is $61,667, significantly more than the net worth required to be among the global 50%.

(2) The U.S. has the most members of the world’s top 1%.

(3) The U.S. has 41% of the world’s millionaires and four times the number of individuals with more than $50 million, than the next country, China.

But Andrew Cuomo, who has a net worth of $5 million, tells you not only is America not great, America has never been great.

Did you know that research consistently found that gratitude — being thankful for what we have — is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness? Conversely, ingratitude is a sure way to be bitter and miserable. (See Harvard Health)

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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Sunday Devotional: Giving thanks on the last day of the year

Colossians 3:12-17

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Study after study find that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy. Happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

Today, the last day of 2017, is an appropriate occasion for us to reflect on the past year and count our many blessings.

For one, we made it through another year, which is not so for some of our families and friends.

We lost Will Shanley, a member of our FOTM family, on November 6, 2017.

William Brandon Shanley of New Haven, Connecticut, passed away on November 6, 2017, age 65. He was a graduate of Lewis S. Mills high school and attended Emerson College in Boston. William’s intellect and technical abilities provided him a lifetime of wide and varied occupational experiences. At the age of 16 years he was the youngest DJ on the air in Waterbury. After college, Will worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign, providing technical and audio visual support. Over the years Will was employed by the National Academy of Science in Washington, DC; CNN in Atlanta, Georgia; and other news organizations. He was an independent documentary producer, and the editor and author of the charming and informative book, Alice and the Quantum Cat.

Will was fiercely principled, a tenacious warrior for the truth, a loyal colleague, and a sweet and loving friend. Professor Jim Fetzer perfectly describes him as “courageous, with the heart of a lion”. (In memory of Will, see this post on Fetzer’s blog.)

Please remember Will Shanley in your prayers.

As we look back on the year that was 2017, what are your thanks and losses?

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: 'Where are the other 9?'

Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Are you one of the ungrateful nine?
Be the “leper” who says “Thank you,” for surely you have many, many things to be grateful for — that you are alive, to start, breathing in air, hearing the sound of a bird, tasting an apple, seeing the sun rise this morning . . . .
Eowyn's garden Sept. 2016
Some of the most miserable people I’ve met are people who are sour, entitled, unappreciative, and thankless. Study after study have found that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy. Happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

Despite our troubles, think of all the good things you have, and be grateful, because it’s all gratuitous. We didn’t “earn” any of it.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice always.
Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

And remember to tell God you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength. It’s only proper, because —
Jesus loves us this much
Give thanks, and be joyful!
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
~Eowyn

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Giving Thanks

prayer of thanks
Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in America. But did you know that unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day or the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is explicitly religious in nature?
In 1789, in his first year in office, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because —

“it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”


In 1815, President James Madison issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness.” After Madison, however, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in New England for 48 years.
In 1863, magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned the Lincoln administration that “a day of Thanksgiving now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.”
President Abraham Lincoln called on Americans that year to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”
gratitude-cicero
The United States of America is one of only ten countries that set aside a day to give thanks. In so doing, our forefathers displayed not only virtue, recognizing God’s bounty, but also practical wisdom. We now know, from scientific research, that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy and healthy. Research shows that happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

We of the Fellowship of the Minds want to take this occasion to thank all our readers and especially our faithful regular commenters who contribute so much to this blog with their intelligence, trenchant observation, righteous outrage, and wit.
God bless you, and may God have mercy on America,
~Eowyn

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Thought-provoking Thought of the Day

importance of gratitude
H/t FOTM’s josephbc69
Research shows that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy. Happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

Just remember: Whatever we have — our body and mind, talents and skills, family and friends, and our very life itself — are all wholly and entirely gratuitous (unearned) gifts from the Creator.
“Brothers and sisters: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
~Éowyn

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About Happiness

“Brothers and sisters: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Laughing Jesus
Some interesting facts about happiness from WebMD:
1. We are not hardwired to be either naturally happy or not, regardless of what happens in our lives. In other words, you can change your happiness index!
2. The happiest country: A study in 2012 found that Denmark was at the top in life satisfaction and work-life balance, and 17th in income. By comparison, the United States ranks No. 1 in income but ranked 12th in life satisfaction and 29th in work-life balance.
3. Gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy: Research shows that happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

4. The happiest states in the U.S.A. are Southern states, according to a 2009 study. Of them, Louisiana ranks No. 1 in happiness. Maybe it’s not an accident that Louisiana also ranks No. 1 in pro-life.
5. The unhappiest states in the U.S.A. are:

  • Eastern states like New York rank at the bottom.
  • California also ranks low in the happiness scale, at No. 46.

6. Older people are happier: People are happier, less stressed, and feel better about themselves after age 50. A recent survey of more than 340,000 people showed overall feelings of well-being improve as people pass middle age. Negative emotions such as stress and anger decline after the early 20s, and people over 50 worry less than younger folks. Researchers say it may be as simple as this: With age comes increased wisdom and emotional intelligence.
7. “Feel good” chemicals: In terms of happiness, a boost in your mood is linked to the release of serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin hormones. Tryptophan helps your body make serotonin, so it’s linked to feeling good as well.
8. Music makes us happy: A study found that when people listened to music, their brains released more dopamine, a feel-good chemical that’s involved in pleasure. In fact, even just thinking about listening to music caused the dopamine to start flowing. The researchers think this might explain why music has been such a big part of human history.
9. Being happy doesn’t mean you never feel sad: “Happiness is not the absence of sadness,” says David Spiegel, MD, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. It is not a stiff upper lip or always being upbeat no matter what, which is a phony kind of pseudo-happiness. By suppressing sadness, you suppress other, more positive emotions, as well. In fact, people who try to suppress emotions actually become more anxious and depressed.
10. A cheerful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22): Some studies have found that laughter may boost infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells in the body. In a study of the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas, scientists at the University of Maryland found that those who watched dramas tended to tense up, restricting blood flow, whereas people who watched comedies had normal blood flow.
~Éowyn

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