Gross National Happiness

“In 1972, the king of Bhutan declared that his Himalayan country (which is the size of Switzerland) would henceforth measure progress with gross national happiness instead of gross national product. It is still the only country in the world to do so.

This is an entirely appropriate decision for a country that treats happiness, not economic gain, as the goal of development. In inventing their government, Bhutan’s leaders asked themselves how to maintain balance between materialism and spiritualism while seeking the clear benefits of science and technology; the possible loss of tranquility and happiness with the advance of uncontrolled modernism was an abiding concern.

[…]

The plan is working, and Bhutan’s success with the environmental pillar alone is remarkable. A few years ago, the residents of a village famous for its migratory cranes proudly installed electricity in their village. It was soon discovered, however, that some cranes were flying into the power lines. The villagers tore them down and switched to solar power.”

Read the whole article by Richard Ingham at SojoNet.

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~ by fourstar on August 25, 2005.

One Response to “Gross National Happiness”

  1. Get your schooner on!

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