At this time, as the world spins – seemingly, increasingly – out of control, being in the midst of a raging civil war in South Sudan is almost the norm.
One of the benefits of having a multi-cultural staff is that they bring different values to how life is viewed. One of these is Happiness Index in Bhutan, where Goss National Happiness is more important than GDP as a measure of the countries success.
Gross National Happiness, was brought to life by the fourth Dragon King of Bhutan, and a sophisticated system to measure all aspects of human life developed by the Centre for Bhutan Studies. Centered in the ideal that beneficial human development occurs when there is a balance between spiritual and material development. There are nine metrics and 35 quantitative and qualitative measures for the Index.
Far from being an isolated concept, on the 19 July 2011, the United Nations approved a Bhutan-sponsored resolution 65/309, titled “Happiness: Towards a Holistic Approach to Development”, which was co-sponsored by 68 countries. It stated that ‘happiness is fundamental human goal and universal aspiration; that GDP by its nature does not reflect the goal; that unsustainable patterns of production and consumption impede sustainable development; and that a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach is needed to promote sustainability, eradicate poverty, and enhance wellbeing and profound happiness.” (Wikipedia)
Importantly, it’s not about your happiness, but what you do to lift the happiness of someone who has a low Happiness Index.
As such, it has become part of our morning ‘Health Check’ in the UNOPS South Sudan office.