Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Don't worry, be happy!

While many developing countries are struggling to fulfill the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, Bhutan's government says it is close to reaching them with the help of a Gross National Happiness index.

Karma Ura leans back in his chair. He is wearing a traditional Bhutanese robe. He has a low voice and he comes across as a modest, well-balanced man who is satisfied with life.

He is the president of the Center for Bhutan Studies. Since 1999, his research group has been trying to measure the scale of happiness among the Bhutanese: Gross National Happiness (GNH). But can happiness be measured?

"We do not measure what you call meta-feelings but positive emotional states like generosity and compassion, and the absence of excessive frequency of anger, frustration and jealousy are good indicators of whether people feel happy or not. We can measure indirectly. If you are a victim of very frequent anger and frustration, obviously it means that your mental state - for whatever reason - is not pro-happiness."

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6043291,00.html

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