if you are a Hibs fan living in Willowbrae you’d be forgiven for feeling like your world was crashing in on you. Your team has just lost the Cup Final – and, far more seriously, gang warfare appears to have erupted in your neighbourhood.
Shootings on the city’s streets are always disturbing, but, thankfully, remain extremely rare. We know that the crime rate is relatively low, and Edinburgh is, on the whole, a very safe place to live.
That is one of the reasons why the Capital regularly features at the top of lists which reflect quality of life. We live in a beautiful city – the envy of the world, in many respects. We enjoy world-class entertainment – often for free – at the National Museum of Scotland and on the Fringe, to name just two examples.
You don’t have to go far from anywhere in Edinburgh to enjoy fabulous parks, countryside and beaches. Average wages are good, unemployment is relatively low and we are blessed with some fantastic services like the Sick Kids.
OK, there are always things to moan about, things that need improved. But it should surprise no-one that government attempts to measure happiness have identified Edinburgh as the most contented major city in the UK.
Of course our day-to-day happiness depends on many things that government and local authorities cannot control, like family, friendships, good health, and so on. Official attempts to measure it are always going to be incomplete, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
These days we are obsessed with measuring economic output. Everything from share prices to our efficiency at work is assessed and compared. Focusing only on economic data like that rather misses the point. Shouldn’t we be thinking about our quality of life at the same time? Isn’t happiness what it is all about at the end of the day?
And, in Edinburgh, don’t a lot of us need a bit of a reality check at times, and to be told to go away and count our blessings?