When he was in the mood, my father would hold forth on why I should not associate ‘things’ with happiness. But when I was not in the mood, my mother would buy me a bar of chocolate and ask me if I was happy. I must confess that my father’s lectures made me feel like a good human being, made me gain a few inches in height. But it was the chocolate that made me happy.
Every time someone posts about Bhutan and Gross National Happiness (GNH), I get exposed to the same old conflict. Why do we have to see GNH and GDP as two opposing forces? Why does the apocryphal king who has to search for a happy man’s shirt, have to figure that the only happy man in the kingdom is shirtless?