International Day of Happiness

The 20th of March was the first International Day of Happiness this year! This day has been adopted by the UN as an annual celebration and remembrance of what life is really about: Happiness. Because isn’t that what we all want, wherever we are from, whatever our daily occupation is, whatever language we speak, and however we try to achieve it? The UN sees happiness as a universal goal of humanity. All the goals the UN strives to achieve, such as peace, respect for human rights, eradication of poverty, sustainable development all have a commun end: happiness.

I am really excited about the global attention that is paid to this very important dimension in our lives! Indeed, I belief it is worth it to put happiness actively on the world’s agenda, just like peace and human rights. It might sound a bit hippy or up in the clouds. I mean, what is happiness really and how can we achieve it? But the fact that it is put on the agenda, that it is considered an important goal, makes that we can start thinking about this dimension in our lives. It’s difficult to grasp and to define, happiness, but that is no reason not to strive for it on a global level and consider it as a human right!

One way of applying it, coming up with ways of measuring it, of implementing it, is Gross National Happiness (GNH). Instead of the usual GDP which measures the wellbeing of a country by monetary income, GNH considers a lot more categories than finances to measure the wellbeing and development of a country. It’s four main pillars are:

1. Equitable and equal socio-economic development
2. Preservation and promotion of cultural and spiritual heritage
3. Conservation of environment and
4. Good governance which are interwoven, complementary, and consistent.

For more information about the roots of this new annual celebration of happiness check out this article: International Day of Happiness

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