Sunday, January 27, 2019

Happiness matters

The Facebook Video above is from the World Economic Forum, and it's about the very different approach toward governing that the current New Zealand Government is taking. Instead of just measuring traditional economic indicators alone, the government is also looking at other indicators of wellbeing. Because happiness matters, and so does well-being, and kindness and compassion go a long way to improving the quality of life of the nation.

When I shared this video on my personal Facebook, I said:
Our Prime Minister has a different approach to government, a view that goes beyond any single election cycle. This could be the antidote to the rise of far-right authoritarianism in Western democracies—if it gets enough time to get off the ground before our next election. You can’t instantly turn a bus around, after all.
And that's the important thing: Rightwing authoritarianism is on the rise, and part of the reason is that people are frustrated with the way things are going and are looking for easy solutions. That's not a majority anywhere, but it's enough to win elections, especially when the Centre and Left are divided. New Zealand's approach is a nation's equivalent of business' “Triple Bottom Line”, a time-tested concept that has value for entire countries.

The catch is that some of the indicators will take years to improve, longer than can be done in any one election cycle (which is three years for New Zealand). If Labour is returned to government in 2020, the new approach can become well-established. And this is what I'm hoping. Indeed, it's what many of us are hoping for, because happiness does matter.

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