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Monday, February 14, 2011

Gross National Happiness

Valentine's Day seems a good day to reflect on two things: love - so that would be Abby - isn't she a sweetheart?

And happiness.

I picked up a book on Bhutan the other day because I was very curious about a country that measures success not by GNP (gross national product) but by GNH (gross national happiness).

At first blush that may seem quaint and rather cute. At second blush it seems the only logical and sane measuring stick a country should use. What is it all about - this short life - if not happiness? And what is the purpose of a government if not to ensure the happiness of its citizens?

Instead, we have come to take it for granted that we must constantly produce more and have more - even if none of the things we make or buy bring any sort of lasting joy. We are driven by insane consumerism. Bhutan, I think, has it right. I would like to visit one day - might just be one for the bucket list.

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