The nine dimensions of Gross National Happiness

Buddhists love lists, and since Gross National Happiness stems out of Buddhist Bhutan, no surprise that there’s a list associated with the GNH “guidelines.” The kingdom of Bhutan has charged the Centre for Bhutan Studies with helping to quantify this ideal their fourth king coined, as people around the world clamber for a better economic metric.

The “nine dimensions” include:

1. Psychological Well-being

2. Time Use

3. Community Vitality

4. Culture

5. Health

6. Education

7. Environmental Diversity

8. Living Standard

9. Governance

There’s much to say about GNH that you can read in depth on this site, but I think it’s very important to mention that personal happiness isn’t what this is all about:

GNH encourages individuals to see all things as interdependent with all other things. In order to achieve collective happiness, the principle of interdependence needs to be taken on by everyone. Members of a GNH society would cultivate a third eye, which can elevate our vision beyond individual self-interest to address the happiness of all, as a collective goal. The third eye metaphorically represents our potential to see all things as interdependent across time and space. Equity is central to GNH. The perception of happiness that doesnt take into account the needs of others happiness is irresponsible and egocentric, and the pursuit of such happiness is likely to be unethical. Happiness blossoms through enhanced relationships, arising unbidden when relationships improve. In this sense, the whole of development is a progress in relationships, not of individuals


2 thoughts on “The nine dimensions of Gross National Happiness

  1. Rieki says:

    Bhutan is facing a grim future. Poverty in the rural area’s is increasing ( even hunger is increasing), youth unemployment is rampant, pollution is a big problem in the urban areas and the towns a facing water shortage.
    Many of young high educated Bhutanese are tired of the GNH that made their country world famous. GNH is well intended but it forgets to address the grass root problems in Bhutan that makes Bhutan a unhappy country for the majority of the its people. GHN is becoming the philosophy of the elite in Bhutan and the rich and famous of the West. For them it is easy to be happy because their belly and bank account is filled.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lxhappiness, lisa napoli. lisa napoli said: The nine dimensions of Gross National Happiness […]

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