Achieving Happiness In A Globalized World

Before trying to reach happiness, we need to measure it. That’s why in July 2011, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution inviting member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use the World Happiness Report to help guide their public.

Bhutan was the first and so far only country to have officially adopted Gross National Happiness instead of Gross Domestic Product as their main development indicator. Bhutan’s model of GNH measures quality of life by trying to strike a balance between the material and the spiritual.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a sovereign state in South Asia. A landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas, that believes strongly in karma. Bhutan is also well known as a tourist destination. Now days the country is famous for its GNH Index.

The idea of Gross National Happiness (GNH) took modern shape in the 1970s under His Majesty the 4th King when he challenged conventional, narrow and materialistic notions of human progress. He changed history by imagining that Bhutan’s should pursue the path to Gross National Happiness, not a high GDP.

Bhutan’s GNH Index was developed in 2010 by Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research. The index takes into consideration the country’s specific Buddhist cultural and spiritual values when developing and measuring the impact of socioeconomic development policies. Bhutan’s GNH Index should not be confused with the GNH Index also known as the GNW Index or Gross National Well-being Index because the Bhutan GNH Index include indicators for Karma and Prayers citations, while GNW / GNH Index has no spiritual indicators.

As the results of the Bhutan’s 2015 Gross National Happiness Index goes better and better, also the Gross domestic product of Bhutan has growth in the last years with an income of 2,214 million of US $ (2015).

The results of 2015 GNH showed us that 51% of men are happy, as compared with only 39% of women. But women’s GNH increased faster than men’s 2010-2015, reducing gender inequality. Also provided information about the people context, 55% of people living in urban areas are happy, but only 38% in rural areas. The happiness of urban areas increased more 2010-2015 than it did in rural areas, so rural-urban disparity increased.