Missouri Makes top 10 of most miserable states.
I was immediately inundated with questions popping into my head.I mean...really..It's a banner headline in a Missouri newspaper and they are touting it as a "top ten" achievement. Are they under the impression that this is a GOOD thing?
Anyway, as I was saying...I have questions.
1. Was there a contest to enter so the states might win the"Most Miserable" title and is there a prize?
2. What qualifies a state to be deemed miserable?
3. While it's true I live in Kansas, I am just 5 minutes away from the Missouri side of town...does this impact me in some way? Could the Missouri misery spill over to Kansas?
4. Where did Kansas rate and did it lose points for sharing a town with Missouri?
Most of my regular readers know that I have moved multiple times in my life. I think I am currently at 39 moves, give or take, .... but 21 moves for sure since my marriage 42 years ago. So as you might conclude, I have lived in numerous states and have conflicting loyalties. I have lived in several cities within Missouri and for the life of me, I never remember feeling miserable. OK..maybe a tad miserable with morning sickness when Kiddo #2 was born while living in Independence, Missouri but I can hardly blame the state for that. I would go so far as to say I have had very pleasant experiences in the state so...really?...how miserable can it be?
Upon further research I find that this" less than flattering" title is a result of a poll done by the Gallup Healthways organization called State of American Well Being. The word MISERABLE isn't exactly what the pollsters had in mind, when creating their study, I would guess. However, every article I have read related to this poll does refer to M word. If you would like to see the report in it's entirety you can click here. There is a link on their website so you can download the full report...but here is the result of the study.
|Some climbing and some sliding in a year's time.|
After 178,072 people were surveyed from every state in the Union..these are the winners and/or losers.
As it turned out Kansas came in 20th from the top for well-being....OR if you are a "half glass empty" sort of person we are 30th up from being the most miserable state of the Union. West Virginia was the winner of that title.
Thought Number One: Isn't Misery in the Eye of the Beholder?
I looked over the lists and see many of the states I have resided in such as Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois and not one of them has ever taken the top prize for being the least miserable place to live. In fact, four of them are ranked next to each other. HMMM...maybe I am so used
|Doesn't "MOST" mean they won the|
greatest number of points in some catagories?
It could be said if you factor things like longevity, health, workplace safety, job availability, economic climate, and such that "on paper" one state might appear better than the next but is that what a person would need to have a sense of them well-being? If we are talking about how stable and secure, or how happy and content a person feels about the place they live in...do any of the hard statistical facts really matter?
How can a study prove statistically why people (like my husband and I) would leave Texas where it is warm and sunny to live in Kansas*...where it looks like this today...
*Note: It has already been established at this point that I am not good at picking the "winner" states.
|At this point ....you doubt my sanity don't you?|
BECAUSE...part of what makes us feel a sense of well being is being near our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons.
Thought Number Two: The Ties that Bind
I am on most days very happy in Kansas but this isn't the place that all my ancestors before me made their mark. I am a relative newcomer to this state so while I am content to live here, I also don't have a firm ties that would keep me from ever moving if my children or grandchildren moved out of the area. Conversely, I wouldn't badmouth the state as it provides me with a safe, decent place to live where I don't worry for my safety. It rankles me a bit when people make negative, stereotypical, comments about the Midwest.
As with most things there are both the good and the bad to every state, province or country a person would choose.
BUT... back to my point that some people's love of "their" homeland isn't hinging on statistics of how many hospitals or parks are in a certain geographical area... some of the people I have met have such a deep unshakable bond to this state because this is where their family history lies. It is hard to quantify why people are attached to an area.
Take for example my friend Christi. I have talked about her before to those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile. She is the friend that died last September while waiting for an organ donor to give her some new lungs. Christi loved Kansas like no other person I have met. She loved this state with every ounce of her being. She grew up near the Flint Hills and found a beauty there that most people just can't see in the flat plains of the Midwest.
There is a certain beauty if one goes looking for it but it's easily overlooked in the plainness of the prairie.
|Flint Hills Photography :: James Nedresky photographer --link to website|
Christi spent a lot of time in the Flint Hills. Once she and her husband went hiking in the hills until after dark. They laid down in the tall grass and looked up at the stars. She referred to that night as "her starry, starry night" It was there that her ashes were scattered.
Christi would have been offended at being ranked 20th...although she might of laughed at the 43rd ranking of Missouri.