Adventures Of An Incurable Optimist – Michael J Fox in Bhutan
The Gross National Happiness of Bhutan
The whole world, shaken by economic woes, is taking a closer look at optimism. Imagine a country which measures its success with a figure for “Gross National Happiness” instead of Gross National Product. Inspired by BHUTAN’S overarching development policy called “Gross National Happiness” (GNH), Michael J Fox was in Bhutan recently for his new documentary. Fox visits the secluded Himalayan nation of Bhutan, a modern day Shangri La that stresses the importance of joy in everything it does. Can happiness actually be legislated? Fox is fascinated by this nation’s commitment to the positive well-being of its citizens.”
GNH is a concept coined by the fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in the 1970’s. GNH is a more holistic approach to development than Gross National Product (GNP). GNH is based on the Buddhist philosophy of the “Middle path.” While conventional development models stress production and economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH is based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other.
“I’d read about Bhutan. I was really intrigued by the concept of gross national happiness, and I wanted to see if it really was what it was reported to be,” the star of such worldwide hits as the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy told Kuensel.
“Bhutan sets an excellent example,” said Michael J. Fox. “The fourth King and the government have been very wise and the people have been very smart and responsible in the way that they’ve responded to their leadership. I hope that y’all are aware of the gift you’ve been given, about where you live and how beautiful it is, and also how you’ve taken care of it.”
He said that, although he was not a Buddhist, his visit to Bhutan and the development policy of Gross National Happiness had reinforced his own personal philosophy about being optimistic and positive about the future. Fox said he hoped Americans would learn from his documentary that being positive was a universal trait, especially during the current economic recession.
Source: www.abc.go.com “Michael J Fox travels across the globe to explore the enduring strength of hope. He talks to both famous and everyday people, venturing everywhere from the Far East to President Barack Obama’s inspiring inauguration – all for a one-hour special, Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.
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