Consider another way of viewing the world. Since 1971, Bhutan has promoted the idea of a Gross National Happiness index being used to replace Gross National Product as the most important criteria by which development is measured.
According to Guardian Weekly in 2012:
“The country has pledged itself to remain carbon-neutral and to ensure that at least 60% of its land mass will remain under forest cover in perpetuity. It has banned logging and has instigated a monthly pedestrian day that bars all private vehicles from its roads. In a world beset by collapsing financial systems, gross inequity and wide-scale environmental destruction, the tiny Buddhist state’s approach is attracting a lot of interest. Last year the UN adopted Bhutan’s call for a holistic approach to development, a move endorsed by 68 countries. A UN panel is considering ways for Bhutan’s GNH model to be replicated globally.”
The core of Gross National Happiness is the importance of the quality of a nation’s feelings. Wealth is empty if people are miserable. To identify the value of happiness should surely be paramount?