good morning, friends!
have you heard of the kingdom of bhutan? in the himalayas? it's that little country right above india and below china.
well, recently i learned that bhutan measures their Gross National Happiness, which is "an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than Gross National Product," (quote via here) and that idea just really struck me. it's a way for them to live in harmony with their religion (they are the only country in the world where a tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism is the official religion.) the government believes that the happiness of the people in bhutan is more important than their economic growth and development, and that one can't thrive without the other.
"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 sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance." (from wikipedia)
i can't help but wonder how using this as a governing principle in my country, the usa, and other countries would shift the world. or what about just using it as a personal governing system? what if our happiness was more important than our bank accounts? what if happiness was more important than being right, or being the most powerful? i like the idea of measuring my own progress by my happiness, rather than the size of my bank account or my "big accomplishments."
if you'd like to learn more about bhutan and the gross national happiness, you can find some some good websites here, here, here, and here, and watch a great video right here.
*have a fantastic weekend! i'll see you on monday.* :)