There is has been a large body of research in the last few decades into what constitutes happiness. And in recent years various thinkers have been asking the question; Can government policies based upon this research be implemented effectively to increase the well being of its citizens? The government of the tiny nation of Bhutan thinks so, and accordingly has made "Gross National Happiness" the central aim of its domestic policy. Derek Bok, former President of Harvard University, delves into this discussion in his new book, "The Politics of Happiness", which examines the expanding research data and looks at the practicality of government promoting policies that target 'happiness.'
We're moving into an era where the continual expansion of material wealth, as we have viewed it, increasingly comes into conflict with population growth and environmental sustainability. Pretty soon now we have to start seriously asking the questions: If our happiness is to not to come primarily from increasing material wealth, where are we going to find it? And with that, how is the role of our government to change?
To read more click, 'Happiness as public policy'
An avid traveler, Covey Cowan counts trips to Nepal and India as some of his most memorable. He has helped build a youth hostel for the Hidden Villa Foundation, raised funds for a school library in a Huichol village in central Mexico, and volunteered his time at The Center for Attitudinal Healing.