If you’re happy, you will know it

A reader says escaping in a book is the best way to achieve happiness. Delores Johnson / The National
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I am intrigued by the idea of a Minister of State for Happiness (UAE Cabinet endorses 'happiness' charter, March 21).

Call me old-fashioned, but in my day happiness wasn’t the responsibility of governments. It was up to the people themselves – providing that the infrastructure supported this and that the basic needs set out by psychologist Abraham Maslow were met. These include shelter, food, water, love and warmth.

The rest is down to us.

It’s a bit like the classic saying of youngsters: “I’m bored”. How anyone can be bored is beyond me, when we have every technological gadget to entertain us and our friends and families are close.

Perhaps it’s all related to the general lack of interest in reading. Reading evokes many feelings and provides food for thought. Immersing myself in a good book is definitely my road to happiness.

Name withheld by request

Memorial will be fitting

I refer to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed approves designs for UAE martyrs' memorial (March 20)

I believe that the design, in which sheets of metal support each other, is very fitting, and that the finished memorial will be a lasting tribute to the country’s fallen heroes.

The design also signifies the ties between the armed forces, families and other citizens at times of adversity.

It reminds me of the song, Lean on Me, which says that we all need somebody to lean on.

May God bless the UAE and its people.

Name withheld by request

Survey results can be skewed

I wish to comment on A third of teenage pupils feel 'hopeless' at school, Dubai survey finds (March 20).

Self-selected or volunteer surveys such as this example lay themselves wide open to issues around validity, reliability and verisimilitude.

A skewed sample such as this will only reveal the inherent sampling bias. Therefore, I would caution against printing survey findings without listing some key criteria, such as the name of the person or organisation conducting the survey, the purpose of the survey, and the sampling methodology and margin of error.

I have lived and worked in the UAE for over 20 years and I feel that the extensive use of self-report/volunteer surveys to assess social, emotional and psychological issues within society tend to be overused in this part of the world.

It becomes particularly important should key policy decisions be based upon findings from this type of skewed data.

Peter Hatherley-Greene, Dubai

Ponzi schemes are no answer

This is a warning for those tempted to sign up for Ponzi schemes (Regulating the UAE's financial sector, March 21).

Always ask yourself one simple question: if the money is so easy, why isn’t everyone doing it? Then, walk away as fast as you can.

Mohamad Kadry, Abu Dhabi

When anybody promises they can give twice the returns of the stock market, walk away. Don’t let greed sway your judgment.

Better enforcement of the law is one issue, but education should be the priority.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

Don’t rush to conclusions

The flight recorders of the downed airliner are crucial to the investigation (Damaged black boxes may hold answers to FlyDubai plane crash, March 20).

The information on them may help the authorities find out what led to the tragedy and provide closure to the families of the victims who perished in the crash.

Meanwhile, it is heartening to see FlyDubai make every possible effort to provide assistance and support to the affected families, not just by offering compensation but also giving them the chance to travel to the site where the plane went down. Fatima Suhail, Sharjah

I know FlyDubai takes safety seriously. We must wait for the investigation to be completed before we can determine the cause. The weather, especially wind, is unpredictable.

Chris Reid, Dubai

What happened is tragic, but from my experience with them, FlyDubai is a great airline, even compared to some of the premium carriers.

Ghassan Younis, Dubai