Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a blog post on my internationally-focused well-made lives website, wishing everyone a very Raglan Christmas. You may have read it.
It was fun to write. I had to explain where Raglan was, what it meant, and how the concept of a laid-back summer holiday had permeated our culture. I even found some very helpful advice on what to do if you get caught in a rip.
I quoted the 8 Tribes book I wrote with Chris Brown:
“The key word for the Raglan tribe is freedom; its icons are the Adventurer and the Artist. Raglan tribe members want to create and control their own destiny. Their approach to authority is not so much defiance as indifference. They need to do what they need to do and if the rules don’t fit then the rules are wrong.”
Re-reading the post, there’s one bit that catches my eye:
“But on the positive side, I think this Raglan spirit is one of the reasons New Zealanders are among the happiest people in the world. Raglan tribe values figure more strongly in this country than in many other Western countries. Probably Australia would be next. For the record, we’re 9th happiest in the world and Australia is 10th.”
That was according to the World Economic Forum. For the record, on their list we are now 8th and 9th – sorry Sweden. However, in terms of bragging rights, I much prefer the Legatum Institute’s finding that puts us at #1 in the world for prosperity. There, the rise has been steeper – they had us 4th in 2015.
So I’ve been wondering:
Is New Zealand going up or are the others going down? I remember writing a tongue in cheek newsletter years ago about moving up the OECD, which used to be a preoccupation in New Zealand. I suggested that instead of working harder and harder, it might be easier to focus on sabotaging the economies of the countries above us. But they seem to have done it to themselves.
Selfishly, I hope our happiness and prosperity may long continue and that it extends to all of us, not just the favoured few. At the same time I really hope the brave new worlds taking shape in the US, UK and other parts of the world aren’t too intense and that the President-Elect of the United States will stop lying about everything. It’s so unseemly. Though this article by Masha Gessen suggests he won’t.
In that regard – I’ve been binge-watching The Lie Detective on some more or less legit website online. [They have Pak n Save ads so I’m guessing they’re OK]. The Lie Detective is a Channel 4 [UK] programme featuring New Yorker Dan Ribacoff. It involves potential, existing and former couples who have been offered the opportunity to have ‘the most honest conversation of their lives’. The show uses a combination of lie detector tests and Ribacoff’s skills [I guess] as an observer of micro-expressions and voice characteristics to verify or negate the answers people give to each others’ questions.
It’s very well made and perfect for summer viewing. The participants have a range of ages and situations – some of their situations are funny, some are sad, some are lovely and some are so deeply insightful about human relationships. I particularly liked the middle aged woman who, given the opportunity to go out with her husband Dave as himself or his cross-dressing alter ego Paula, instantly chose Paula – because she’s so much more fun.
That’s called playing it as it lays – one of the secrets of life in the Raglan Tribe.
So have a lovely laid-back Christmas and try not to think too much. No more newsletters in 2016 but I’ll be back with something inspiring for the New Year.
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