I’ve always been a big fan of Bhutan, if for no other reason than its hand in bringing the defiantly sensible “Gross National Happiness” idiom into our lexicon. Sure, they have problems too, but at least they view their problems as things to be solved, as opposed to the leadership in more “advanced” countries, who depend on and perpetuate their society’s problems in order to maintain their separateness.
GNH is like the sage advice we always ignored because it wasn’t convenient, but always knew was right, reminding us of the plot that has been lost – Hellooo! The whole point of economic expansion and technological/scientific progress is to increase the happiness and well-being of the world’s population, right? If that isn’t being achieved, it’s time to re-evaluate everything and ask ourselves the question posed by David Korten, which I’ve relayed here before and will do so shamelessly again: “Do we exist to serve the economy? Or does the economy exist to serve us?”
With that, I refer you to a wonderful and uplifting post from Lester Kurtz at Waging Nonviolence concerning Bhutan’s latest step in its march towards sanity – perhaps more of a walking meditation than a march. At the very least, it’s evidence of new paradigms emerging and new questions being pondered on a larger scale, which can’t be a bad thing.