Poles are happier than they've been in years. More than 80 percent report that they are "very happy" or "quite happy," and that number has risen steadily since 2000. But happiness in Poland seems to derive largely from private life. There's not a lot of volunteering, and even the rates of Church attendance have been going down.
Many have lost trust in their leaders, in political systems, in religious institutions and in the very notion that we are all in this world together and share a common future. This is a problem, because trust is the essential element that allows us to build a world of agreed-upon rules, with a level playing field for all.
In last week's New York Times, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel suggested that this year's resolution might be to abandon the ritual of your annual physical. The title of his column, perhaps chosen by an editor to maximize glibness and thus provocation was: "Skip your annual physical." But permit me to suggest you don't commit to that just yet. The annual physical exam warrants some more examination, a defense to follow its prosecution.