Gross National Happiness

The term “Gross National Happiness” was first coined by the 4th King of Bhutan the concept has a much longer resonance in the Kingdom of Bhutan. The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of well being. Gross National Happiness best captured our distant perception of the main purposes of development, rooted in our philosophical and political thought. We do this through a concerted policy of cultural promotion and the provision of free education, health and other social services. The four major goals are economic self reliance, environment preservation, cultural promotion and good governance.

Within Bhutanese culture, inner spiritual development is a prominent focus in external materials development. Enlightenment is blossoming of happiness and it made more probable by consciously creating a harmonious psychological, social and economic environment. The positive mental and the psychological powers are not directed outward to the control of the natural world, rather they are turned inwards, towards our own mind, so that we can understand our mind and its relationship both with itself and the outer world.

Bhutan has followed a multi-dimensional approach to development, aimed at spiritual and materials balance and harmony. While we accept the reality of globalization and cultural change, we can always endeavor to select the most beneficial aspect of it, to make the correct choice for our greatest present and future tasks.