The Geography of Bliss: Chapter Two – Switzerland


The Geography of Bliss is the title given to a book written by Erick Weiner and published in 2009 by Grand Central Publishing. The book takes a reader through various locations in the world, from the America to India to Switzerland in search of happiness, or as the author puts it, moments of “un-unhappiness.” The book employs the use of a mixture of science, travel, and humor as well as psychology to investigate probable places where happiness can be found,borrowing on basic and colloquial variables such as democracy, wealth, visionary leadership, and ‘petrodollars’among many other aspects of life to measure the relative happiness that can be derived from a particular geographic location.This paper agrees with the judgment that the author has with regards to Switzerland. While the country can come out as a relatively boring place, anin-depth analysis of the location makes one realize the true value of the country and the people and makes a person understand why the Swiss are indeed some of the happiest people in the world.


Chapter two takes the reader to different places in Switzerland, a nationthat the World Database of Happiness classifies as one of the happiest country globally. The author’s first inkling of the Swiss is on their punctuality and efficiency and utterly boringness. Based on this evaluation, he wonders why they are a happy people. He is introduced to some Swiss friends who tell him that they are happy because they avoid envy by all means. They all endeavor to succeed and be wealthy,however, they do not show it off because they do not want to stand out.The author further notes that the Swiss have an innate bond with nature and appreciate democracy, attributes that have been established to promote happiness. So, while the author perceivesthe countryto be a little too impeccable for happiness, he notes the Swiss have been efficacious in unearthing the secret to a concept more profound than contentment and something less than heaven, what herefers to as “conjoyment,” a state of joy and calmness at the same time.

While it is apparent from the chapter that the author would never be in a position to derive happiness in the Swiss way of life, it is evident that he venerates their means to “conjoyment.”WhileWeiner at first perceived Switzerland to be a boring country,by the end of the Switzerland stay he realizes that there is more to the country and Swiss people than meets the eye. The Swiss can make use of the power of their vote to advocate for real progressive change, that’s the real meaning of power. The Swiss may not drive flamboyant or extravagant vehicles, but they may own a top of the range espresso machine in their homes. A visitor has to dig in-depthly into the meticulously crafted Swiss veneer to see it, the Swiss people can also be genuinely and honestly passionate, and believe in the supremacy of trust and the honor system.


In conclusion, it is not possible, or at least easy to define happiness the Swiss way with simple words. Theirs is a form of happiness that can only be understood with patience and understanding. They are not as boring as a first time visitor may perceive them to be.Conversely the Swiss are not totally joyful, and the author states, they are in a state of conjoyment, joyful and calm.



Weiner, E. (2009). The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World. Grand Central Publishing.

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