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The Snoopy Factor

happy dog

Mathematics is the elegant universal language that makes best sense of our world: The Theory of Relativity, The Pythagorean Theorem and of course, Uncle Sol's MPC theory for rating restaurants, (Maximum Plate Coverage being the only criteria).

Math explains almost everything; how a plane flies, how a bridge withstands traffic, how well an athlete performs. These days social scientists even use it to evaluate the collective happiness of a country's people with the World Happiness Report.  Respondents rate a host of main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. Once all the numbers are crunched, a Happiness Index number is spit out.

Pretty good, but one key factor is missing and it's a constant variable. I call it the Snoopy Factor in honor of Charles Schultz, the legendary creator of Peanuts, who wrote that, "Happiness is a warm puppy."

I'm certain that all of us dog owners agree (cat owners too), that our pets provide us with a continuous source of happiness. How many times have you heard someone say, "No matter how lousy my day was, my dog is always happy to see me and that makes me feel great." Or like Uncle Sol said, "You love me, I love you...unless you have spinach stuck in between your front teeth."

Getting back to the math of the Snoopy Factor: Suppose you had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that would get, say a '2' if you had to rate it. You leave work immersed in a cloud of doom, you experience road rage on the drive home and even worse, Miley Cyrus songs are playing on every radio station. But after the excruciating commute, you get home and Snoopy greets you with a wagging tail and lotsa licks as if you're the second coming of the Beatles.

Your day had suddenly changed, your spirits uplifted. Maybe that feeling of wellness grows when you see your family, or if you live alone, maybe you spend the rest of the night watching your favorite show with your dog by your side? You think that the world is not such a terrible place after all. I call it the Snoopy Factor and think it should be included in the World Happiness Index. Don't you?

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