When we think of government priorities, economic growth often takes centre stage. However, a growing number of countries are challenging this paradigm by placing the happiness and wellbeing of their citizens at the forefront.
Bhutan, known for pioneering the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), set the stage for a new approach. Instead of solely focusing on GDP, Bhutan’s government measures progress based on factors such as psychological well-being, cultural preservation, and environmental sustainability.
Wales, too, has joined the movement with its Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, which mandates that government decisions must consider the impact on the social, economic, cultural, and environmental wellbeing of present and future generations.
Similarly, New Zealand has adopted a wellbeing budget, aiming to address key social issues and improve citizens’ quality of life. These examples showcase a shift towards governments recognizing that true progress lies in nurturing the happiness and wellbeing of their people.
Wellbeing Government as Future?
I’m optimistic about the future. Looking at these movements, I feel confirmed. We need to move away from scarcity and immediate survival and embrace the rich sources of happiness.
By prioritising wellbeing and happiness as a standard, these governments above are making a powerful statement about the values they uphold. They recognize that a thriving society goes beyond material wealth and economic indicators. When policies and resources are directed towards improving the overall wellbeing of citizens, it fosters a sense of connection, social cohesion, and personal fulfillment.
It encompasses not just physical health but also mental and emotional well-being, access to education, quality housing, and a sustainable environment. By adopting this approach, governments become catalysts for positive change, striving to create environments that nurture happiness and enable individuals to lead fulfilling lives. As more countries embrace this paradigm shift, we can hope for a future where the pursuit of happiness is not just a personal endeavour but a collective goal supported by governments worldwide.
With this positive outlook, I introduce the final episode of this season. Listen here and comment below:
Look at the Podcast overview page if you haven’t listened to my other episodes. I have covered general topics like what happiness is and how gratitude, positive thinking, being social and healthy habits support happiness. I’m talking about topics like global warming, play and negativity bias. And most importantly, I have answered the question of who is responsible for your happiness and what to do about it.
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Have a happy day!