Thursday, January 01, 2009

What's in a year?

Putting to one side that Stuff polls are not scientific, etc, etc, this one reveals something about the psyche of some New Zealanders I find most interesting. I'm not sure why Stuff put the options in the order they appear instead of in a continuum and there are more positive options than negative.

How was your 2008?

Average (2998 votes, 25.2%)

Good (2928 votes, 24.6%)

Excellent (1659 votes, 14.0%)

The best year of my life (511 votes, 4.3%)

Bad (1546 votes, 13.0%)

The worst year of my life (2239 votes, 18.8%)

Only 4 in 100 thought last year was the best year of their life compared to almost 19 in 100 thinking it was the worst. Nearly a third thought it was the worst or bad. It's be interesting to know how those people would have voted at the end of 2008. I suspect many, similarly. Is it events or attitudes? That is probably as futile a rumination as the nature vs nurture argument.

I would be fascinated to see the same poll run in other countries to compare responses. My expectation would be that New Zealanders are comparatively gloomy and pessimistic. Many are spoilt and not particularly resilient. Perhaps also because there is a high proportion of New Zealanders living elsewhere, and they may tend to be more optimistic types, the poll is skewed.

Of course 43 percent had a good (my selection - every day above ground is a good one), excellent or best year so there are still plenty of smiling faces out there.

Why was my year not excellent or best? I hated the campaign. I have never felt like such a crock in all my life. And it tended to dominate my year. But on the positive side of the ledger my children keep surprising me especially with their musical talents. They have made me very happy and proud when performing. But more than that their developing characters and humour make them fine companions. My husband continues to be my rock. And the rest of my extended family are happy. Perhaps I should have ticked excellent on reflection.

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