Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In Pursuit of Happiness - A Self-Assessment

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Mc Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index has recently gained a place in measuring the level of development of a country by inputing an elusive parameter which is happiness.  GNH Index can be downsized for local application, individually or by group or community that is closely knit.

Relationship is still the Number One source of happiness

However, the standard development index remains: Gross National Product (GNP) Index, the annual total value of goods and services generated by a country within and outside its shores, as differentiated from Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is the total value generated within the country only.

This was modified to include Human Development (HD) Index, in order to determine how a country's wealth and earnings are used for the  welfare of its citizens in terms of health, education, housing, and the like.

Parameters of Happiness of GNH Index:

1. Psychological Well-Being
2. Health
3. Time Use
4. Education
5. Cultural Diversity
6. Good Governance
7. Community Vitality
8. Ecological Diversity and Resilience
9. Living Standards
10. Family
11. Spirituality
12. Sense of Achievement
Enjoying the beauty and bounty of Nature 

Upon reading Time's feature story on The Pursuit of Happiness (October 22, 2012 issue), what came to my mind was to rank the  nine parameters, and add three to the list, namely, Family, Spirituality and Sense of Accomplishment or Achievement.   
Happiness through the arts (Bulacan State University dance troupe), and  quaintness of living (Bannawag Magazine staff) 

Individual perception of course, varies, so that it is suggested that a kind of self-evaluation be conducted using the Likert Scale: 

1 Very Poor, 2 Poor, 3 Fair, 4 Good, and 5 Very Good. 

Compute the average by adding the values of all the parameters, and divide the total with 12.  This is the general perception of happiness of the person concerned. What is equally - if not more important - is in being able to find out the main source of happiness, at the same time, the least. This exercise therefore, is aimed at re-affirming our sense of values in the pursuit of happiness. So does a community or country.

NOTE: The Gross National Happiness Index was coined by the fourth king of Bhutan, a small country on the Himalayas, claimed to be the place where "the fountain of youth can be found."  Anyone who has seen the movie The Lost Horizon -  better still read the novel - will certainly wish to live here. Bhutan started using GNH as a broader measure of national progress than GNP, following an old Eastern philosophy.    

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