Monday, May 11, 2009

Gross National Happiness!

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom in search of happiness. Landlocked within a frame of some of the highest mountains on the planet, guided by a religion that espouses peace and serenity, this kingdom decided that to ascertain the happiness of all citizens was more important than to provide them material wealth.
This kingdom instituted a system to measure happiness as the basis of prosperity, and programs in this enchanted land are now assessed according to the principle of Gross National Happiness.
This would be a fairy tale if it were not true. The constitutional monarchy of Bhutan has adopted the G.N.H. as an economic indicator. In Bhutan, prayer flags flap in the winds, the capital city has no stoplights, and cigarettes are banned. And the happiness of people is the highest priority of the government.
Why do I love this story? Everything about it is mythic, from the physical beauty of the Himalayas, to the traditional clothing and architecture, to the idea of (and the name) Gross National Happiness.
Sometimes, truth is stranger (and in this case, lovelier) than fiction.
I wish for you all to be grossly happy!

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