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Gross National Happiness

January 29, 2009

Maybe I’m a little late on this, but I stumbled on an interesting entry on Wikipedia. Seems the Bhutanese people are pushing the envelope as far as keeping their people happy. The even measure happiness like we do our Gross Domestic Product. Would something like this even be possible here in the US? What are your thoughts on it?

From Wikipedia

Gross National Happiness (GNH) is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than Gross National Product.

The term was coined by Bhutan’s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972 soon after the demise of his father King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk who has opened up Bhutan to the age of modernization. It signaled his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. Like many moral goals, it is somewhat easier to state than to define. Nonetheless, it serves as a unifying vision for the Five Year planning process and all the derived planning documents that guide the economic and development plans of the country.

While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH claims to be based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom S. permalink
    February 23, 2009 7:01 pm

    Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a widely discussed issue. I find that the government does not care much about improving the GNH. As stated by IIM the mental and emotional well-being of citizens improves their performance and broadens the intellectual, physical and social resources of a nation. Further information regarding GNH can be found at

    http://www.iim-edu.org/grossnationalhappiness/index.htm

  2. January 30, 2009 12:32 pm

    Methinks GNH is a wonderful idea that reminds us that…

    1. Happiness is not measured just by the produce we have (GNP)
    2. GNP is supposed to bring us happiness, but it does not.

    I saw a documentary on Bhutan recently. According to it, even the rural villagers consider themselves to be genuinely happy. Remarkable!

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