Saturday, October 22, 2011

Formula for Happiness:Read, write, play and meditate:A curriculum with a difference

Joy as applied science
TNN | Oct 23, 2011, 05.56AM IST
Read, write, play and meditate. It's a curriculum with a difference in over 540 schools of Bhutan, where for the past two years children are being taught to grow up into happy individuals. "Meditation is an indicator of psychological wellbeing," explained Karma Tshiteem, secretary of the Gross National Happiness Commission, Bhutan's planning commission.

"Happiness is to do with the state of the mind. With good mental state, you will be happier. Meditation is a powerful way of developing a sound mental state."

This way, the role of the teachers has been extended from teaching math and science to "infusing" principles of gross national happiness, inculcating values befitting future Bhutanese citizens," he added. "It is a different approach to development ," Tshiteem said. "It is not just about the physical aspects, but takes into account the holistic quality of life."

The Gross National Happiness (GNH) came into implementation in 1999, around the same time that the ban on television was lifted. It rests on four pillars - promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of natural environment and good governance . The formula uses 72 indicators of well being such as hours of sleep and trust in the media. Psychological wellbeing and cultural diversity are two of the nine key domains. A survey is held every two years to find out whether the society and economy is progressing according to the GNH principles or not.

And a genuine good life is not just having a job and making money. It entails getting - and enjoying - eight hours of sleep and eight hours of leisure apart from the eight hours of work. GNH lays that down in black and white.

No comments:

Post a Comment