Gross National Happiness is a holistic and sustainable approach to development, which balances material and non-material values with the conviction that humans want to search for happiness. It was as simple as that back then when our Great Fourth King of Bhutan founded the GNH concept in the early 1970s. With time, the whole world appreciated the philosophy and it flourished. Researchers and philosophers have made it complex and split into 4 pillars, 9 domains, 33 indicators and 124 variables. Nevertheless, I and you as a common man can practice GNH in our simple ways.
So, the question is, how do we practice it in our simple ways?
Well, as a matter of fact that life being not so easy for most of us, we are so busy dealing with the ups and downs of our lives. We spend our precious time dealing with all our wants, needs, necessities and many more. But until when? This is the very way of life and that’s how life goes on. And by the time we realize, our time is gone! And happiness wouldn’t be the thing we have enjoyed! To be happy is to give happiness. We all know we can’t be happy if the subjects around us are not happy. So, to keep ourselves happy is to make our surroundings happy. We need to help each other, to learn, to grow, to deal with problems and to live contently. We shall grab any possible opportunities to do good, to make a positive impact in the community we live in, no matter how small it may be, keep contributing towards collective happiness. Life is so uncertain and fragile it is, there might never be a time to bring happiness to one selves and to the community. We shall not only live and live for the greed of self-happiness but we shall live for collective happiness and for the wellbeing of all that surrounds us. Nature for instance is the source of life/happiness to all worldly livings, so let’s not make it a resource of our greed. Let’s happily preserve it for collective happiness and for the wellbeing of the mother nature. And our culture, we shall balance the onslaught globalization without compromising the centuries old cultural values. Let’s happily preserve it for the pride of unity and identity, that’s collective happiness too. The collective happiness comes not only from you and I but also from the government, so we shall know to vote for the government who provides an ethical basis of a Good Governance. That way, we can achieve Socio-economic developments through transparency and responsiveness without mutilating the cohesive core value structure that binds society. May the precious gift from The Great Fourth King flourish and may peace and happiness prevail on this Earth. Palden Drukpa Gyalo!