Do you want to be happy? Then you don’t become a lawyer.

It may surprise a few lawyers that they are the most boring people on the planet, when it comes to their work.

According to the lawyers themselves and the conclusion of a recent study by The Post of data on the happiest and happiest American workers.

Lawyers suffer from high levels of stress and a lack of “meaning” in their work. This is not to say that all lawyers do not like their work, but statements do not lie (even if some lawyers do). I should mention that a large number of my family members were lawyers.

This research was done by Andrew Van Dam, who, in terms of practical work, researched a lot of data to answer readers’ questions. In this case, he analyzed thousands of journals from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey to find out who was happy and who wasn’t.

Underneath all this information is perhaps a more important question: What is happiness?

When I was young, I once asked my lawyer father if he was happy. Pursing her lips, she thought for a moment, then said, “For some people, happiness is the absence of worry.” I assumed he was referring to himself. He also said in another conversation that he thrived on depression, which I took to mean that life is often contradictory.

His answer, however, was consistent with research studies – the less stress, the more happiness.

So who are happy demons who enjoy their work? Envelope please. And the winners are: lumberjacks, foresters and farmers.

There is clearly a common distribution among the three. They all work outside, solitary people who connect with nature far from the pressure of the white life of the desk and paper. Farmers live close to the land, cultivate and smell the soil, plant, tend and harvest fruits, and end each day with the satisfaction of accomplishing something useful. They feed the world.

Similarly, foresters also oversee agricultural land and conservation. They work to maintain biodiversity and mitigate climate change. A single 30-foot tree can store hundreds of pounds of carbon dioxide throughout its life and even later when used for buildings or furniture, according to the Department of Agriculture .

Lumberjacks, the most expensive lumberjacks, harvest wood for homes, furniture and other merchandise. They are also responsible for the destruction of forests, it must be said, but they, too, enjoy their work and seem to suffer less.

What the research doesn’t show is any example of why employees are interested. I say it’s because they spend their time close to nature.

In my experience, living with the cycles and seasons of the world – and I don’t mean shopping for outerwear online – has a positive effect on the body, mind and spirit.

Therefore, Tibetan monks build monasteries on remote mountain tops. Henry David Thoreau lived alone for two years in a small cabin he built overlooking Walden Pond. And many people find a renewed sense of self and hope through wilderness programs like Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School. Nature does wonders.

City dwellers might say they know nature on city streets – by spending a day in a park, perhaps. Or, on vacation, they watch the ebb and flow of oceans, rivers and lakes. To see animals, they can go to a zoo. But those viewer adjustments miss the point: It’s one thing to observe the natural world; it’s different to be a part of.

Most people, it seems, are good at observing. Today, 83 percent of Americans live in cities. Globally, 56 percent of the world’s population, or 4.4 billion people, live in cities, according to the World Bank. By 2050, 7 to 10 people will exchange the hum of nature for the arias of the city.

The reasons for this series of trips are clear and reasonable: work, entertainment, restaurants, cinemas, shopping and all other wonderful things that can only be found in cities. But the bad things are not important – the crowds, traffic, noise, pollution and the lack of physical space are attacks on the senses.

People are animals too, sometimes they forget, and that’s when we get into trouble. No wonder so many children and adults are being referred for anxiety.

In general, the image of the city increases the divide between the city and the countryside and certainly promises a better political campaign. The issues are about city dwellers and country people, as different from each other as lawyers and carpenters.

Because one of those areas is more exciting than the other, I can’t help but wonder what the journey from the countryside to the urban maze shows for our humanity. life

I know that when I’m alone in the woods where I live now, looking at the tree with an ear to the wind, I feel calm and relaxed. Oh, sure, I like life in the city as much as anyone and do anything – so, forcing traffic and more people, I happily retreat to the woods.

As soon as this column is finished, I will chop some wood, plant some trees and potatoes, and maybe grow into a higher life. See you on the mountain top.

Email Kathleen Parker:

kathleenparker@washpost.com

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