Greater Good Magazine

A new link on my site today: Greater Good Magazine.

Check it out under “Com.passion”.

I feel beyond fortunate to have friends who are interesting and insightful and dear, like my friend Elaine, who introduced me to this magazine, Greater Good. It’s published by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center which (according to its own copy) “promotes the study of human happiness, compassion, and altruism”.

This 5-year-old mag, which will go online in the spring, looks at human happiness through methodological scientific inquiry. In other words, it’s where science meets positive human emotion.

This month’s issue rocks. They feature the question “Why Make Art?”, look at the human history of making art; interview a writer, a rapper (KRS-1 !) , a photographer, a choreographer, and a filmmaker — all of whom have distinctly personal answers to the question; and look at the arts in public school education and the benefits of creativity and art in hospitals.

But the topic that’s blown my mind so far in this issue is their feature “Bhutan at the Crossroads”. Mirka Knaster writes about this amazing country where happiness is a governmental policy goal.  (Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical at first and wondered if it was like Big Brother in Orwell’s 1984. Someone watching you all the time, rigid codes of conduct, punishment.) But it’s really fascinating…Bhutan has a policy on GNH. What is GNH? Gross National Happiness.

That’s right, GNH. They do still have GDP, Gross Domestic Product. They’re not a super rich country. But they do rank first in Asia and eighth in the world in the University of Leicester (UK) world map of happiness from 2007. It’s amazing what’s possible in this world, what ways of thinking we can create, improve, or change.

So if the spirit moves you, check out Greater Good and “Bhutan at the Crossroads”. It’s pretty happy-making.


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