Gross National Happiness

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“Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product”
-His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan.

Gross National Happiness, or GNH, 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. The objective of GNH is to achieve development in all the facets of life that are essential; for our happiness.

The Four Pillars are:

Good Governance: Good Governance is a considered a pillar for happiness because it determines the condition in which Bhutanese thrive. While policy and program that are developed in Bhutan are generally inline with the values of GNH, there is also a number of tools and processes employed to ensure the values are indeed embedded in social policy.

Sustainable Socio-economic Development:   A thriving GNH economy must value and economic contributions of households and families, free time and leisure given the roles of these factors in Happiness.

Preservation and Promotion of Culture:    Happiness is believed to be contributed to by the Bhutanese culture. Developing cultural resilience, which can be understood as the culture’s capacity to maintain and develop cultural identity, knowledge and practices, and able to overcome challenges and difficulties from other norms and ideas.

Environmental Conservation:  Is considered a key contribution to GNH because in additional to providing critical services such as water and energy, the environmental is believed to contribute to aesthetic and other stimulus that can be directly healing to people who enjoy vivid colors and light, untainted breeze and silence in nature’s sound.

The Four Pillars are further elaborated into nine domains, which articulate the different elements of GNH in detail and form the basis of GNH measurement, indices and screening tools.

  1. Living standards
  2. Education
  3. Health
  4. Environmental
  5. Community Vitality
  6. Time –use
  7. Psychological well-being
  8. Good Governance
  9. Cultural resilience and promotion.