[Editor’s Note: This article was written by the CTL’s Laurie Hansen.]
This piece dovetails on Will’s article, Does education make you happy?
I recently stumbled upon Happiness, as in Bhutan by Jacques Attali who describes Bhutan as a “minuscule country” whose monarch was “the first to define and implement the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH)”. Bhutans believe that happiness is multi-dimensional. They “distinguish nine dimensions of happiness: psychological well-being, health, education, the use of time, cultural diversity, governance, the vitality of democratic life, environmental diversity and standard of living.”
Thomas Vendetti, PhD, created a one-hour documentary Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path to Happiness; his premise is that the GNH concept is a “refreshing approach to ‘good governance’ ” and suggests it “may be a model for the world.” That is quite a feat.
Created with the approval of the Kingdom of Bhutan, the film examines Bhutan’s effort to create GNH by promoting four pillars:
- Environmental Preservation
- Cultural Promotion
- Economic Development through hydroelectric power
- Good Governance.
Vendetti “consulted extensively with Bhutan’s cultural experts to present Bhutan in an authentic, culturally appropriate manner.” Vendetti concludes, “It’s a lesson for all of us to learn and to model ourselves after.”