I stumbled upon this a couple days ago and found it pleasantly shocking–Bhutan calculates the Gross National Happiness quotient of its citizens every year and is the happiest country in the world.
Bhutan’s then King coined this term in 1972 to show his commitment towards the country’s economical growth and at the same time preserving its spirituality.
I think its nice for a country to keep a watch on the impact of economic development on people’s happiness levels. As one of Asia’s least developed nations, for Bhutan to consider the mental, spiritual and emotional state of its people in face of the foreign investment, is pretty amazing. Lowdensitylifestyle.com has a good in-depth read on what Gross National Happiness really entails.
Artist Jonathan Harris carried out a lovely project where he handed out different coloured balloons to people based on their level of happiness.
“Harris asked 117 people of various ages, occupations, education levels, and social status five questions related to happiness: What makes them happy; what is their happiest memory; what is their favorite joke; what is their happiness level on a scale of 1 to 10; if they could make one wish, what would that be. He then gave each person the number of balloons corresponding to their stated happiness, and wrote each person’s wish on the balloon of their favorite color. On the final night of his journey, he strung up the inflated balloons at Duchala, a sacred mountain pass at 10,000 feet, bobbing amidst Buddhist prayer flags.” –The Atlantic
Things like these make me smile, the world needs more optimism!
My search for Gross National Happiness also lead me to Japan’s Gross National Cool! Only Japan could do that, yet another reason for me to move there!
On an even lighter note, I found a comedy treasure from web’s notorious satire creators, The Onion, titled Grown Adult Actually Expects To Be Happy. This one’s good and the dude looks like Louis CK.