Tag Archives: happiness

Happy International Happiness Day – NYTimes.com

20 Mar

The United Nations has declared March 20 the first International Day of Happiness to underline the commitment of its 193 member states to “better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies.”… The initiative for Happiness Day came from the Kingdom of Bhutan, the small landlocked Himalayan state, which adopted a Gross National Happiness Index as a better measure of its people’s prosperity than its income.

via Happy International Happiness Day – NYTimes.com.


Happiness: Has the Gallup Organization been Hanging Out in Bhutan?

27 Aug

As you know the government of Bhutan has adopted Gross National Happiness as the appropriate measure of national well-being (rather than, say, oh, gross national product, GNP):

Like many psychological and social indicators, GNH is somewhat easier to state than to define with mathematical precision. Nonetheless, it serves as a unifying vision for Bhutan’s five-year planning process and all the derived planning documents that guide the economic and development plans of the country. Proposed policies in Bhutan must pass a GNH review based on a GNH impact statement that is similar in nature to the Environmental Impact Statement required for development in the U.S.

The Bhutanese grounding in Buddhist ideals suggests that beneficial 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 sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

That’s Bhutan, but I don’t live there and chances are you don’t either. But yesterday, just as I was coming out of my afternoon nap (one of the keys to my personal happiness, BTW) I got a phone call from a young lady who identified herself as being with the Gallup polling organization. She asked me if I’d be willing to answer a few questions and I agreed. Continue reading

Is ‘Gross National Happiness’ Is a Better Measurement than GDP? – Andrew Billo – International – The Atlantic

8 Apr

Happiness, what a concept. Fracking doesn’t bring happiness, and war certainly doesn’t bring it.

On Monday, in Manhattan’s bustling midtown, senior level officials came together at the United Nations to discuss a new economic paradigm at the High Level Meeting on Well-Being and Happiness, an event organized by Bhutan, a country that knows a little bit about happiness.

Meanwhile in Phnom Penh, at the sleepy confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, heads of governments from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) deliberated on regional security and enhanced economic cooperation.

These two very different meetings actually have strong implications for one another. The ASEAN meeting was sidetracked by the South China Sea row, a conflict over resources. And leaders at the U.N. meeting recognized that the present rate of resource extraction is no longer viable.

The new economic paradigm laid out by Bhutan Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley uses “natural and social capital values to assess the true costs and gains of economic activity” and may hold the answer for avoiding conflict in the world’s fastest developing region. Wellbeing can only be achieved by avoiding resource depletion, which in turn improves overall regional security.

via Is ‘Gross National Happiness’ Is a Better Measurement than GDP? – Andrew Billo – International – The Atlantic.