The Prime Minister of a resource-deprived nation of some 600,000 people speaking to leaders and economists, scholars and spiritual leaders of some 7 billion people around the world, on happiness is something of a misnomer. And yet, that is what His Excellency Lyoenchen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley will do, on 2nd April, 2012. On that day, His Excellency will interpret and, speak on, and propose, a new economic paradigm for human happiness and wellbeing. This is an event of colossal significance.
For the human race, it is as momentous as the invention of religion.
I am proud not only because we have a Prime Minister who is worthy enough to take center stage and be able to speak to the very best of the world’s statesmen, intellectuals, thinkers and visionaries, I am more so because, destiny has chosen one among the Bhutanese to be the messenger of a brand new philosophy that may yet save the world from disintegration and collapse.
I admit that GNH is still a very complex concept that I have not yet fully understood. My confusion arises out of my conviction that GNH is impossible without a nation full of people who can claim to have achieved GPH. However, I have to admit that some things are beginning to dawn on me.
Our Lyoenchen’s recently introduced GNH-based accounting concept is revolutionary and a model that every country ought to adopt - in order that they are able to measure their country’s real achievements. While watching a documentary film titled “The Economics of Happiness”, I came across a revealing and profound question: “How is it possible that something produced 10,000 Miles away can be sold at a cheaper price than what is produced just 5 miles away?” It is impossible and yet, it is true. But it is true only because lots of other costs have not been factored in, costs that ultimately you and I have to bear.
The real gain is when you can achieve something without the need to minus elsewhere. It is not a gain if it is achieved at the cost of something even bigger. It is now clear that the ongoing global economic calamity is a result of the faulty GNP/GDP-based accounting concept that had failed to factor in the cost of environmental and ecological damages that was being caused in the course of our relentless pursuit of economic success. Our Balance Sheet and P&L Account did not provide for cost of depreciation - even though we have been depreciating our finite resources mindlessly.
His Excellency the Prime Minister is presenting our new accounting concept at the Conference in New York. I hope the world will wake up and take notice.
Please join me in congratulating our Prime Minister and wishing him luck on 2nd April, 2012 during the presentations to the world audience.