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'Happiest Man in America' Found Living in Hawaii

  • Ira Mellman

Trudy and Alvin Wong

Trudy and Alvin Wong

The question has been asked for centuries. What makes a person happy? A new Gallup poll has tried to find some answers.

According to the results, the happiest man in America would be a tall, Asian-American who is also an observant Jew, at least 65-years-old, married with children. The Gallup poll also said the person would own his own business and make over $120,000 a year. He would also live in the US state of Hawaii.

The New York Times took the data and went looking.

What they found was a man named Alvin Wong in living in Honolulu, Hawaii. He fits all of the stated categories and he says he is indeed a happy man.

"I think Asians have a philosophy of life. That's not to say other ethnic groups don't have philosophies of life. But if you look at Asian comapnies, their religions, Buddism, all of that, is looking at yourself inwardly, looking at how you would perform in society. How you behave. The cultural background lends itself to having a calmer inner being," he said.

Concerning Judism and happiness, Wong said, "When the Gallup poll looked at religion, they found that the practicing Jew is happier than all other religions. I look at it as if you are a practicing religious person, whether it be Christian, Jew, Arab, whatever, your life is grounded because you look to a higher being for consolation. You look to a higher being for guidance. And when this happens, no matter what stage of life you're in, you know that there is somebody higher up that controls alot of what's going on. When this happens, it sort of grounds you."

He says happiness living there is more than just the beautiful weather he gets living on a tropical island. "Living in Hawaii with so many ethnic backgrounds here, we learn to live and laugh with people of other ethnic backgrounds and we learn that we can make jokes with people of other ethnic bakgrounds and get along very well with each other," he said.

However, Wong said being anointed the happiest man in the United States is not without its responsibilities.

"I feel there is a responsibility now for me to be happy. So if somebody cuts me off when I'm driving, I can't get mad. I can't wave him off or something like that. I have to smile and say thank you. If somebody is rude to me in line or something like that, I still have to smile," he said.

He says his wife Trudy is an important part of his bright outlook on life. "The strong Jewish woman tells me every morning that I have to be happy. As part of my being happy, I say yes dear," he said.