Oh Happy Day


Robert Francis


Are you happy? You should be, according to new findings from a Harris Interactive survey. According to the Harris Poll Happiness Index (can’t make this stuff up), Americans in the Dallas-Fort Worth region are more likely to be “very happy” than those in other cities. There, now it’s all scientific-like. If you’re not smiling, blissful and generally feeling like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, it’s your own darn fault – according to Harris Interactive, anyway. Got a boot put on your car while parking downtown? Laugh it off. A notice from the city that you need to remove dead tree limbs from your yard? Give a little whistle. Don’t worry, be happy. And what makes us so doggone Bobby McFerrinish? We’ve got that ol’ time religion, praise the Lord. We Metroplexians are among the Americans most likely to tout our spiritual beliefs as a “positive guiding force.” Also, as we down our chicken-fried steaks with cream gravy and toss back those milkshakes, we are humans who “rarely worry about their health.” We’re also “among the least likely to feel their voices are not heard in national decisions that affect them.” Huh? Then what are Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott complaining about all the time? Despite our goofy, Gomer Pyle-smile attitude toward life, we do have some problems. Our families for one thing. Yeah, tell me about it. The denizens of Cowtown and Big D are among the Americans least likely to say we have positive relationships with our family members. No doubt the beer we’re downing as we toss our health cares to the wind helps with that. We also work too damn much. Tell me about that, too. We tell those Harris Interactive folk that we rarely engage in hobbies and pastimes we enjoy. Tell me: What’s the purpose of a hobby or pastime you don’t enjoy? How do other areas fare? Well, Houston comes in just below Dallas and Fort Worth in happiness, no doubt due to the humidity. Meanwhile, Americans in San Francisco come in at No. 10, though they’re still very happy. And, they’re very similar to the happy folks of Metroplexville, except they don’t have that ol’ time religion thing going for them. They are optimistic despite the giant fault line that creaks every time someone on the Bay Bridge sneezes. So here we are, among the happiest people in the country, though not according to another survey, from the University of Vermont. No city in Texas even appears in that survey. Topping the list? Napa, Calif. But I wouldn’t worry about all these various surveys. Be happy.

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In Market is a column written from the perspective of a plugged-in business journalist about business happenings in and around Tarrant County. Got an idea for In Market? Robert Francis can be reached at rfrancis@bizpress.net.