Now to get my husband and kids on board. A few months ago, Bhutan announced that the entire country will be 100% organic. Talk about manna from heaven!
Believe it or not, I really do dream about eating real, fresh, succulent food. I dream about lying in a field without weed killers. I dream about my kids walking barefoot through the grass without having to worry about reactions to the pesticides (which they have). I dream about inhaling fresh air, free of chemicals sprayed to supposedly protect the atmosphere. Drinking refreshing, clean water. I long to swim in an ocean not polluted with plastic bottles and garbage being washed ashore. And I long for all my friends, family and the world to be blissfully healthy and happy.
I dream of living in a world where everyone wants the same and are willing to do what it takes to get it. So for now, that place seems to be Bhutan.
A few decades ago the King of Bhutan announced a policy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). The Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigmi Thinley, explained in a 2010 speech. It sounds almost too good to be true. Here is an exert. Read for yourself–
“Ever since His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo famously proclaimed that “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product”, this country has been on a unique development path that seeks to integrate and harmonize sustainable and equitable economic development with taking real care of our natural world, strengthening our rich culture, and governing wisely, responsibly, and selflessly in the glorious tradition we have inherited from our great monarchs.
I have always seen His Majesty’s wisdom in leading us on this balanced development path as the greatest gift not only to this country but to a bewildered world that is obsessed with material gain, destroying our natural environment, and in desperate need of a sane path forward.
For two decades, His Majesty’s proclamation remained a simple and intuitive shared understanding here that material gain was not the most important ingredient in wellbeing. We Bhutanese somehow knew what His Majesty meant!”
At the June 2012, Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, Prime Minister Thinley, formally announced the conversion of all his nation’s agricultural land to organic farms. The intention is to make “the ‘raised in Bhutan” label synonymous with “organically grown” and Gross National Happiness.
To the people of Bhutan, “organically grown” has deep meaning. It is seen as the vehicle that will enrich and keep their soils healthy and fertile. That will create economic opportunities for farmers and communities by adding value and eliminating the costs of chemical farming. That will elevate Bhutan as a world leader in organic farming, a skill that can be exported. That will make them the worldwide laboratory except without the usual bleakers and test tubes of modern day laboratories. That will foster independence and self- esteem as the country turns to local wisdom, and traditional farming methods. That will no doubt drive the GNH. “Going organic is living Gross National Happiness.”
I feel like I need to pinch myself that a country exists with such lofty, yet authentic goals and principles.
It seems we need a little GNH stateside. All eyes should be on Bhutan as the great global experiment; as the role model and ideal society.
So often we lack the necessary control groups to truly assess the benefits of clean, wholesome living. Control groups in our American society are so hard to find. Chemicals are ubiquitous. Our food is manufactured or genetically engineered. I am tired of hearing we are living longer, but what about the quality of life? What are your ailments? High blood pressure? Cholesterol? Pre-diabetic? Hypothyroid? Are you stressed? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Worried about your health? Afraid? Does anyone ever wonder whether all the stressors of chemicals and toxins are exacerbating all these feelings and physical manifestations? How many medicines are you currently taking?
At one point, I could answer yes to all of the above… that is until I started to assess my own GNH! At the time, I just didn’t have a good catchy label for what I was doing. When I read this about Bhutan, it summed up all my years of searching, learning, healing and cleaning out my body.
As Congress goes into sequester, maybe they should be discussing GNH, rather than deficit and austerity cuts. Maybe we need to rethink our pillars of society.
This little country of 700,000 is one to watch. As in the movie, When Harry Met Sally…”I want what she is having.” Who wouldn’t?