Depressed? Paranoid? Suicidal?
Ok, I knew they were whiners,
complainers about EVERYTHING.
But how is it possible that with such INSPIRATIONAL ARCHITECTURE,
such gastronomic LUSCIOUSNESS,
MACARONS for heaven's sake,
and of course one must also mention the
short work weeks, universal health care, five+ weeks of vacation,
cheese, red wine, Sauterne and foie gras
and on and on and on...
How is it possible that the French are considered
the most depressed country
in all of Europe?
A recent study has shown that, even with the best of everything,
the French are the most unhappy, distrustful, depressed people.
Apparently the highest suicide rate in Europe,
the highest number of anti-depressants eaten like bon bons,
according to a report by Claudia Senik of the Paris School of Economics,
is due to a lifetime of training that begins with primary school.
Harshly critical teachers and heavy competition early on
create an atmosphere of low self-esteem, pessimism and distrust
that lasts throughout their lives.
Encouragement, praise and general cheerfulness are frowned upon
leaving an entire culture with a feeling of mediocrity and insignificance.
And all this time,
I thought their highly vocalized distaste for every other culture on the planet
was a national feeling of superiority.
But as usual, it's not really about us.
It's about them.
Next time you see a French person on the street,
give them a warm smile
(and disregard the scowl.)
Apparently, they need it.
To read more on the subject,
go to Sophie Pilgrim's blog.
(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)