Mexican children must be reading Tolstoy. In a recent study titled "The New Definition of Childhood," a global brand agency headquartered in Chicago found that the happiest kids in the world live in Mexico—despite its many social ills and widespread poverty. The study asked 4,000 children ages 6 to12 in 12 countries what it's like to grow up today. According to the first-ever Global Kids Happiness Index, kids in Mexico were the happiest in the world, followed by Spain, Brazil, and Germany. American kids scored fifth. Across almost all countries, the most important source of happiness for kids is close family and friends.

Leo Tolstoy must be cheering from his grave.

The search for happiness is as old as time, and there's no end to where we've looked for it: love, work, home, family, friends, having everything, having nothing. This season, director Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) has brought to the big screen his adaptation of Anna Karenina, Tolstoy's tale of how two very different people seek happiness.

Tolstoy was a Russian nobleman who shunned his aristocratic heritage for the simple life of a peasant. He published Anna Karenina in serial installments from 1873 to 1877. During this period, Tolstoy was going through a deep spiritual struggle, one clearly depicted in the character Levin. It's impossible to call Tolstoy a Christian in the truest sense; he rejected the miraculous events in Scripture as well as Christ's atonement. He had his own "Thomas Jefferson Bible," scrapping the miraculous events recorded in Scripture and keeping the moral teachings. But his morality finds much resonance with Christian tradition. And nowhere is this more apparent than ...

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