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The Happiest Man in America

By Tamar Yonah
3/7/2011, 12:00 AM

Who was estimated by Gallup to be the 'happiest person in America'?  Any guesses?  Hint:  They stay away from eating cheese burgers.

Could it be:
Charlie Sheen?  no.
Lindsey Lohan?  no.
Jerry Seinfeld?  no.
Oprah Winfrey? no.
Barack Obama? mmmm, no.
According to a New York Times article, Gallup made daily contact with 1,000 randomly selected Americans about things such as their emotional status, stress levels, satisfaction with their jobs, eating habits, illnesses they might have, and other factors, and then plugged all the information into the  Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index  formula, and walla:  the winner is....  (drum beat) a Chinese Jew.  Yup.  meet Alvin Wong.  Alvin was deemed to be the happiest man in America, and he doesn't even eat cheese burgers, as he keeps kosher.  He's 69 years old, married, has kids, lives in Hawaii, is  5'10" tall, makes $120,000 a year working in the health care management business, and is reported to be a Kosher-observing Jew. 

According to statistics, men tend to be happier than women.  Older people are usually happier than middle-aged people, and so on, the NY Times article states.

I wonder if they took the happiest person in Israel and compared him/her with Alvin.  Who would be more content with their lives?  Alvin might have a happier life, be more carefree and comfortable, but I think for me at least, and many idealistic Jews, living in Israel is infinitely more satisfying, even with all the pressures and sometimes overwhelming 'energies' swirling around here.  Not to take away from Alvin, I am quite happy he is happy!  And I think it's intriguing and wonderful that the winner is a Chinese Jew!  How cool is that?  Just wondering though, is satisfaction and contentment in life, more important than the thrill of happiness?  Otherwise, maybe we should all just throw in the towel and move to beautiful Hawaii?  But I think not.  What say you?