“There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path.” – Gautama Buddha
Bhutan is the abode of happiness, being only country in the world that prioritizes happiness and keeps it above everything else. The Government of Bhutan focuses on one philosophy to function, and that is the level of happiness amongst its people, called the Gross National Happiness. It involves an index which is used to measure the combined happiness of the citizens of the country.
The concept of GNH is something to enthusiastically look forward to for all the other countries as well. The prime realisation and implementation of the thought that real success and the utmost achievements lie in the happiness and the well-being of the citizens of a country is commendable and inspirational. It surely is something that could change the world, a ray of glistening hope for eradicating the atrocities and creating positivity… the big change everyone wishes for. The experiences of the people visiting the country have been extraordinary, many of them confess that a visit to this country has given them a new perspective in life and a new world to look at, with a clear and revitalised vision.
“Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National product”, said Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the 4th King of Bhutan, during an interview with a British journalist in 1972. That was when the term was actually coined. The first GNH survey was conducted in 2008, followed by a second one in 2010, and the third nationwide survey was conducted in 2015. The GNH Surveys cover all the twenty districts. The results are reported for varying demographic factors such as age, gender, residence, and occupation. Gross National Happiness values the collective happiness of people by amalgamating the importance of nature and traditional values, and accentuating enormously on the same.
Bhutan also has a GNH Screening Tool. It is a system which confirms that all development policies and projects of Bhutan are studied under the concept of GNH. The GNH Screening Tool evaluates, monitors, sets goals and nurtures national awareness about all the conditions that are favourable to the happiness and security of the people, and the nation as a whole. The GNH screening tools can be applied in two phases, at project level and policy level. Generally, it consists of three types: For all ministries and sectors (e.g. good governance), For respective ministries (e.g. education, health), For individual sectors (e.g. youth, employment).
The Gross National Happiness Policy has four pillars and nine domains. The four main pillars of Gross National Happiness are maintainable and justifiable socio-economic development, environmental conservation, protection and advancement of culture, and upright governance. Psychological wellbeing, Health, Education, Time Use, Cultural Diversity, Good Governance, Community Vitality, Ecological Diversity, and Living Standards are its nine domains.
In this rapidly transforming era, the only milestones considered by the humans today are in terms of business of finance, industry, or trade. While focusing on all of this, we forget the basic essence of human life, which is a stabilized and happy mind and lifestyle. The welfare of people is the ultimate path to everyone’s goals. The importance of a healthy mind has to be promoted and encouraged more. With a nourishing approach like the GNH, everyone gets closer to their dream life.