Wednesday, September 16, 2009

GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS


What is GNH?

Mirka Knaster tells us (Greater Good Magazine Bhutan at a Crossroads By Mirkan Knaster):

Bhutan's Gross National Happiness is measured by:

1. How well the natural environment is supporting the people.

2. The extent to which communities and families are intact and thriving, not just financially but also culturally.

3. Its citizens' reports on their own levels of happiness.

"The Bhutanese, as well as many outside observers, argue that the secret of their happiness lies in the security of their community, kinship, and family relationships, and in a self-sufficient lifestyle.

"And their Buddhist spiritual tradition, which considers craving the root cause of unhappiness, guides their daily life.

"Its commitment to priorities beyond the almighty dollar is often cited as a main reason why happiness is so pervasive in Bhutan—and it is why the country has been celebrated by commentators around the world."


Photo of Bhutan by Stephen Shephard


Journalist Eric Weiner, in his 2008 book, The Geography of Bliss, explains:

"They do things that don't make economic sense. In Bhutan, what's on the inside is often more impressive than what's on the outside."

According to Weiner (Be like Bhutan - Los Angeles Times):

"What do the following have in common?

"The war in Iraq. Sales of cigarettes...

"The answer: They all contribute to our nation's gross domestic product, or GDP, and therefore are all considered 'good,' at least in the dismal eyes of economists...

"Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan nation, has invented a radically new metric: Gross National Happiness...

"While other developing countries have sold off their natural resources to the highest bidder, Bhutan has hardly touched its timber and minerals...

"Many Bhutanese are willing to forsake money for happiness; for a slower, more human pace of life. The vast majority of Bhutanese who study abroad, for instance, return to their homeland, where they earn a fraction of what they could earn in the West."

~~

1 comment:

scunnert said...

That's my kind of economics.

 
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