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Can we measure happiness?

  Aug 11, 2016

Can we measure happiness?

According to Webster, happiness is "a state of well-being and contentment."  It has to be understood at various levels.
 
Some equate basic human needs as the crux of happiness: nutritious and adequate food, sanitation, shelter, clothes, communication devices like mobile; education, skill and job, time and facilities for recreation etc. However that is well being. The difference can be in the form of unmet career aspirations, sexual inhibitions, fractured relationships -- revealed anxieties, insecurities and loss that make one happy or otherwise.
 
Public policy as a role in facilitating human happiness by way of providing basic minimum services; checking gross inequality ,providing rule of law, improving the quality of public services etc. Bhutan measures progress not in terms of GDP but Gross National Happiness in which governance, growth, environment and tradition have equal place.
 
There will still be everyday issues like job insecurity, workplace discrimination, high rents and expensive schools fees etc. But overall, happiness is not entirely  up to the government, it’s up to individuals and their own mindsets. To some extent, that is, happiness is also a state of mind.