Saturday, April 14, 2012

A World Where Happiness Is The Bottom Line

The serious business of creating a happier world
by Mark Williamson, The Guardian

 The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan measures its success in terms of "Gross National Happiness" (GNH).

A historic event took place just before Easter, the first ever United Nations conference on happiness with more than 600 delegates including leaders and representatives from nations around the world.

This was the first major step forward in a process which began last summer, when the resolution Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development was unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly. Taking the lead was Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan kingdom which famously measures its success in terms of "Gross National Happiness" (GNH).

The basic idea is that human progress is about more than just growing the economy. When we measure how well our societies are doing, this should focus on people's overall quality of life, not just their standard of living. Economic growth can of course be beneficial, for example by lifting people out of poverty; but it can also come with unwanted side-effects, like increases in inequality, mental illness and environmental damage. The economy is a means to an end; the ultimate end is the happiness of the people. Read full article @ The Guardian.