Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Balanced development’

Happy Happiness Day!

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 21, 2013

By Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University; Author, ‘The Price of Civilization’

international-happiness-dayLet me be the first to wish you a very Happy Happiness Day! In case you didn’t know it, today is the first International Day of Happiness, launched by all 193 UN member states. Happiness Day doesn’t mean we’ve arrived at happiness, but it does mean that we’ve recognized that happiness is our goal — and that our societies need to work harder to promote the things that really matter in the 21st century.

The fourth king of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan led the way 40 years ago, drawing on ancient Buddhist wisdom. Bhutan should pursue Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than Gross National Product (GNP) like the rest of the world. Since then, Bhutan has been experimenting with a new holistic approach to development that emphasizes not just economic growth but also culture, mental health, compassion, and community. Bhutan is searching for a balanced society.

It’s a worthy search. Bhutan aims to avoid the Easterlin Paradox that grips the US. Professor Richard Easterlin discovered many years ago that America was becoming much richer per person but not happier, at least not according to the direct reports of wellbeing by Americans responding to surveys. This is sobering, indeed. We are threatening the planet with pollution, climate change, and other environmental degradation to chase more and more goods that don’t seem to do so much to really make us any happier.

My colleagues Richard Layard, John Helliwell and I reported on the evidence on happiness in last year’s first World Happiness Report, prepared for a UN meeting on happiness promoted by Bhutan. (We’ll have the Second World Happiness Report out this fall.) We used worldwide survey data to look at the factors that truly make people happy. Income of course matters, but mainly to the poor. When people are hungry, deprived of basic needs such as clean water, health care, and education, and without meaningful employment, they indeed suffer. Economic development that alleviates poverty is a vital step in boosting happiness. Read the rest of this entry »

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Overcoming New Decade Challenges

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 27, 2011

Every single day our world spends more than $4 billion on war. However everyday, 20,000 children die of hunger, poverty and a lack of treatment and medicines and millions of people are suffering a lack of their basic needs like food, clean water, clothes and shelter. If only a certain percentage of these funds were used for the benefit of the people worldwide, struggling to have an education, minimum health care, food and housing a lot could be done.

Nuclear power was developed in the name of establishing peace and now this is threatening the whole human race. Current existing amounts of nuclear power are enough to destroy not a single earth but dozens of equivalent earths. What will happen if the nuclear power will get into terrorists’ hand? This is today’s one of the biggest concerns for world leaders.

By  Ram Kumar Shrestha, Global Coordinator, Kapilvastu Day Movement

With 2010 heralding the dawn of a new decade; this decade offers many challenges and opportunities. Global warming, political instability, recession, terrorism, disaster were the major problems of the decade and the ultimate source of these problems is not external – it is us and only us, our current lifestyles, our historical choices, our way of thinking and doing with full of selfishness and our future ambitions. We ourselves, therefore, must be the solution. Now the world is already in very crucial moment and this provides opportunity as well to the world leaders, scientists and humanitarian activists to show their capability and broadness and prove themselves as historic persons. One of the most important questions we are facing today due to the reality we are facing in the name of development is: “Do we really love our generations or not?” This is already clear that just the continuation of existing development trend without drastic changes could destroy the world very soon and we, hence, must have new perspectives to bring everything in the right track.

Every single day our world spends more than $4 billion on war. However everyday, 20,000 children die of hunger, poverty and a lack of treatment and medicines and millions of people are suffering a lack of their basic needs like food, clean water, clothes and shelter. If only a certain percentage of these funds were used for the benefit of the people worldwide, struggling to have an education, minimum health care, food and housing a lot could be done. Read the rest of this entry »

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