Gross National Happiness is the term that every Bhutanese is familiar with. Most of the outsiders wonder what the real meaning of this term is…they think this only means that all the Bhutanese are always happy. But this is actually a very confusing concept, even for us Bhutanese. The concept of GNH is very vast since it has different meaning at different level of life.
It can be as simple as a child smiling over a candy and as complicated as the nation coming up with a new strategies to make the citizens happy. But as an individual Bhutanese this is how I interpret GNH…GNH doesn’t necessarily mean every one is happy because even though Bhutan is a really beautiful country, it is not necessarily the perfect country. Even my beautiful country has corruption, bad guys troubling the good guys, sad life stories, and hard times for the people and all those other regular life that any other person in any other country might have.
But like I pointed out earlier…happiness has lots of meanings. It can be any thing that gives us joy. And in Bhutan whenever we mention happiness we only mean happiness…that comes from the daily lives and not the ones that money buys us. In fact with money we believe that the happiness degrades since money only gives us materialist happiness and with time we have to struggle to keep up with the growing greed and this leads people to do things that they should not be doing.
So no matter how confusing GNH might sound…its really simple when u think deeper about it because it purely means being genuinely happy with our lives…also it is wrong to assume that every single body in Bhutan is smiling all the time because that is just not possible. But Bhutan still tries so hard to work to achieve this impossible target and that’s why Bhutan is the only country that provides every thing for free…the basic education, the health care and all the guidance required to have a secure future for the youth.
All in all, it is possible for any nation to follow GNH. We just have to lower our expectations out of this concept and just put our happiness before anything, be it materialist possessions, greed and any other thing that gives us temporary happiness. Rather we have to embrace the simple happiness which we get from simple things in life, being educated, being healthy, being happy at work and being able to define yourself in this country. That’s how I see GNH as an individual Bhutanese.