Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In search of ‘happiness’…

In disagreement with the conventional development models, which consider economic growth as the main trigger for development, and with the use of the Gross National Income or the Gross Domestic Product as proxies for countries’ standard of living, Bhutan’s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck coined in 1972 the concept of ‘Gross National Happiness’. This concept represented the first attempt to define and measure the quality of life of a nation in a more holistic way, focusing on the people’s well being and happiness, rather than on Government spending, private consumption, investments, import, exports, etc.

Starting from that moment, numerous attempts have been made to measure countries’ happiness, and dozens of indexes have been developed and used to rank countries according to their ‘happiness’. Not surprisingly, Bhutan often ranked among the top countries (and France towards the bottom, but this is another story). India as well resulted often high in the ranking. Being in a ‘happy’ country, we wondered therefore whether there was a way to worm out the secret of its people…

So, last week we attended a workshop on “Cultivating Happiness”, where the keynote speaker was the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard - no less than the ‘happiest person in the world’*! In short, Ricard argued that happiness is a status that depends on our mind, and that to be happy we need to train our mind to be happy (i.e. cultivate happiness). A flawless argument…

Not fully happy with… sorry, not fully satisfied with the argument, Mathide decided to learn more and to participate to a five-day Seminar on “The value of Patience in cultivating Happiness”. Well, the seminar is still ongoing, so it is too early to draw any conclusion, but… COULD YOU EVEN IMAGINE A MORE PATIENT MATHILDE??? Ah, India, incredible India…

*
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-happiest-man-in-the-world-433063.html and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/matthieu-ricard-meet-mr-happy-436652.html

5 comments:

  1. mi viene in mente quella storia di uno dei vecchi almanacchi dove paperina convince paperino a seguire un corso di autocontrollo per non arrabbiarsi per qualunque cosa...
    i trucchi che insegnavano al corso erano:
    contare fino a 10
    versarsi sulla testa acqua gelata
    stare in equilibrio sulla testa

    sono curiosa di sapere cosa hanno insegnato a mathilde per diventare più paziente...

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  2. domenica sera, alla conclusione del corso, lo sapremo...

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  3. mathilde si e' ammalata e ha saltato le ultime tre lezioni!!

    ReplyDelete