International Day of Happiness

The Happiness Initiative

Seattle happens to be the birthplace of the Happiness Initiative in the United States (and of the happiness survey). The city of Seattle is very involved in a happiness project, and the Happiness Initiative is supporting other communities across the country to have their own happiness projects. Places like: Vermont (Vermont Pursuit of Happiness Day Proclamation), Pittsburg, Kansas (Pittsburg, Kansas Pursuit of Happiness Day Proclamation), Eau Claire, Wisconsin (Eau Claire Happiness Initiative Website),and Nevada City, California (the Nevada City Happiness Website). Communities, students, campuses and faculty are also starting their own projects. For more information, click here>>

The organization is also gearing up for a week of celebration for International Happiness Week starting on April 13th.   

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Bhutan and Gross National Happiness

The Himalayan nation of Bhutan has taken the lead on measuring gross national happiness (GNH), a concept developed by one of their kings in 1972. The four pillars of GNH are sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

A government report written in 2011 suggested that Bhutan was well on its way to meet its 22 gross national happiness goals. According to the report, Bhutan has reduced poverty, hunger and inequality. But challenges still remain in the area of unemployment, especially for young people. There’s more safe drinking water, and improvements to sanitation, and overall child and maternal health are better. The report also says that gender parity at the primary and secondary school levels has been achieved, but adult literacy still only remains at about half of the population. To read more about the report, please click here.

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