Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gross National Happiness

If you were listening to "A World of Possibilities" on KRBD this last Sunday, you may remember that there was a segment on that show about the economic benefits of happiness.  Filmmaker John De Graaf spoke about a collaboration between Seattle and Victoria, B.C. to survey the happiness levels of Seatillites.  This was inspired by the tiny kingdom of Bhutan, which bills itself as 'the Happiest Kingdom on Earth'.
We just happen to have a brand new book about this idyllic country:  Radio Shangri-La: what I learned in Bhutan, the happiest kingdom on Earth, by Lisa Napoli.  Burned out with her frantic career as a radio journalist, Napoli jumps at the chance to downpace her life by moving to Bhutan, where personal happiness and contentment are highly valued.  Napoli helps launch the first youth-oriented radio station in a country without a single traffic light, where television has only just been allowed to be broadcast. 
As she gets involved with the people and the lifestyle in Bhutan, she begins to question whether her efforts at fostering modern media and communications might not just threaten the very special nature of that community.A very interesting book.

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