What is Gross National Happiness?

People strive for economic growth and live happily. But, what about the poor people who live in misery and poverty all their lives?

Thanks to Morten Sondergaard. He explains how Gross National Happiness is aiming at changing all this and how one Bhutanese king’s resolve to ensure all the people in his country are happy and prosperous has changed the world forever, for the better.

Gross National Happiness (GNH), first proposed by Bhutan’s fourth Dragon king, is based on the fact that everyone aspires for happiness and a country’s growth lies in the happiness of it’s citizens.

So, the real challenge for a nation is to achieve GNH. Bhutan’s fourth dragon king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck has proposed the concept of GNH and relentlessly pursued it as a goal for his nation.

Good health, education and high standards of living must result from a flourishing economy.

This is because being healthy, having opportunities for the future, possessing a steady income, housing and well balanced use of time are all a key to attaining GNH- these are the factors that are crucial for people to be happy.

Bhutan’s fourth dragon king also realised that people feel happy by participating in cultural affairs, preserving their cultural heritage and connecting with other people.

Having a strong community feeling is critical to gain happiness, Morten explains. Community participation and religious identity are factors for achieving happiness.

The fourth dragon king based all his decisions on the achievement of GNH. He believes so strongly in the concept of GNH that he handed sovereignty to the people in 2006. In 2008, Bhutan elected it’s first democratic parliament.

GNH has gained momentum in other countries too which are now focusing on development with values and how to make the world a happier place.

Don’t you think all nations in the world should apply GNH as a developing measurement?


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