The summer equinox, March 20, will literally be a day where the entire world will remember Bhutan for one reason. This is the exact day where the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon’ will be tagged in almost all the possible sites that human can stretch. And there’s no doubt that the name of the 4th Dragon King Jigme Singye Wangchuck will invade the front pages of every newspapers.
The reason’s so simple but unique. It is the most common reason that every social animal endeavors to attain it. And the reason is “HAPPINESS”: the currency of our life.
In the lines of Bernard Baruch, he asserted that:
Millions saw the apple fall, but only Newton asked why.
Concomitantly, countless people heard of happiness, but only King Jigme Singye Wangchuck hunted what.
|The Father of Gross National Happiness: His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuck|
Bhutan was bestowed with such a legendary monarch who always knew that at the farthest end, it is the happiness that is craved by all. In his farsighted vision, the 4th Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck realized that happiness is the only key to unlock the charisma of one’s livelihood. So uniquely, he redefined and invented the guiding philosophy of development for this small Himalayan kingdom, popularly and globally known as the Gross National Happiness.
The brainchild of the 4th Dragon King: Gross National Happiness
Video courtesy: Click on LINK
Gross National Happiness, referred briefly as GNH, is a holistic approach of our developmental path that ensures economic wealth along with the organs of emotional, spiritual and psychological needs in place. It is the kind of happiness that is derived not at the cost of well-being of others.
This brainchild of His Majesty the 4th King of our country has originated with a matchless beauty. To him, all kinds of economic developments should encompass spiritual, mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing of the people.
GNH disagrees with the fact that, highly revolutionized nation’s claim of their economic might may necessarily guarantee the fulfillment of one’s inner happiness. In other words, it is does not believe that the people who live in a developed country are the ones who are always happy, even if their life is comforted with all automated basic needs and wants. Therefore, soon after his enthronement in 1972, his popular phrase “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product” resonated the entire nation and the world late recently.
GNH is a kind of happiness that is deemed measurable under the yardstick of four primary pillars:
a) Sustainable and Equitable Socio-Economic development
b) Preservation and Promotion of Culture
c) Conservation of Environment
d) Establishment of Good Governance.
To measure those four pillars, there are 9 domains and 72 variables employed. The 9 domains are as follows:
1. Living standard
4. Time Use
5. Psychological well-being
6. Community Vitality
7. Ecological Diversity and Resilience
8. Culture Diversity and Resilience
9. Good Governance (To know more click on LINK)
In 2008, after the Bhutan’s smooth transition to a constitutional democratic monarchy, the Bhutan’s first democratically elected Prime Minister Lynchoen Jigme Yoezer Thinley became the brand ambassador of GNH. He exported the entire leaflet of a GNH plant and made the leaders chew it. Later, he has proposed on behalf of his King and the country to add ‘Happiness’ as the 9th Millennium Development Goals.
|The Bhutan's first democratically elected Prime Minister, Lynchoen Jigme Yoezer Thinley|
So today, with extreme pride and happiness, I on behalf of my King, Country and the people, join the entire world in celebrating the International Happiness Day. Let happiness prevail throughout the entire world forever.
It is noteworthy to leave the message from the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the International Happiness Day, 2014 (Courtesy: Click link))
The twin concepts of happiness and well-being increasingly feature in international discussions of sustainable development and the future we want.
Many countries are going beyond the rhetoric of quality of life to incorporate practical measures to promote these concepts in their legislation and policy-making. These good practices can inspire other countries so that measuring and accounting for broader well-being, and not simply national income, becomes a universal practice.
Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live.
Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury. It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family. It should be denied to no-one and available to all. This aspiration is implicit in the pledge of the United Nations Charter to promote peace, justice, human rights, social progress and improved standards of life.
Now is the time to convert this promise into concrete international and national action to eradicate poverty, promote social inclusion and inter-cultural harmony, ensure decent livelihoods, protect the environment and build institutions for good governance. These are the foundations for human happiness and well-being
“Whoever is happy will make others happy, too”- Mark Twain