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Happy is the new rich!

Happy Girl

In this world of changing priorities, happiness falls at the bottom of the list with more importance being given to materialistic pleasures. In order to recognise its importance in the lives of people around the world, the United Nations started celebrating the International Day of Happiness since the year 2013. To support the idea of happiness, the United Nations (UN) launched Sustainable Development Goals that aims towards bringing synergy to the efforts of happiness by seeking to end poverty, reducing inequality and protect our planet, which ultimately leads to well-being and happiness.

The true meaning of happiness needs to be introduced to kids starting from a young age and continued further into their adulthood. The persuasion often leads to people missing out on the actual meaning of happiness.  More often than not, the very idea of happiness finds its meaning as a destination and not the journey. The need to enlighten people about this concept and accept days as they come is the most important aspect of the happiness ecosystem. There should also be a robust mechanism to address well-being and measuring of interpersonal comparisons. In order to remove the disparity in measuring the well-being of countries, the parameters need to be aligned to the country’s developmental status and not be universal for all participants involved, developed or developing.

Additionally, there is a need for governments to revisit their priorities in terms of achieving success. According to the World Happiness Report released every year by the UN, India was at the 133rd position out of the total 156 countries evaluated for the report in 2018. It is based on an analysis of responses given by the respondents on a scale of 1 to 10 when they were asked to rate their lives. To promote the idea further in the lives of people from a young age, governments are introducing happiness curriculums and happiness index in schools now even in India.

There are 2 main aspects of happiness namely: Affective happiness and Evaluative happiness. Affective happiness refers to subjectivity that arises from day-to-day activities of joys and sorrows, whereas evaluative happiness stems from the idea of an overall satisfied or dissatisfied system that a person might be a part of. It is hence agreed upon that combined data for effective and evaluative happiness should be used to measure a society’s happiness.

The Sustainable Development Goals are said to be the starting point to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. These first set of goals focus on elements relevant to personal uplifting like no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, obtaining a quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation. The second set of goals emphasize on the community and are to do with affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities and responsible production and consumption.  The final set of goals focus on the environmental factors like climate action, life below water, life on land to manage forests and reverse land degradation, peace justice and strong institutions and coming forward to do partnerships for the goals.

While the council plays its role by setting up developmental goals, it is individuals’ responsibility to build in happiness which is reasonless, else it ceases with the reason getting over; and is very short timed.  Every step and the journey should be enjoyed rather than just the achievement at the end. This will also help in keeping away stress and have a healthy and positive outlook on life.

Happy is the new rich!

Dr Huzaifa Khorakiwala heads the non-profit organisation, Wockhardt Foundation, which runs several programmes in health, education, water and sanitation across India. He is also the Executive Director of Wockhardt Limited. An MBA from the prestigious Yale University in the USA, he has won numerous awards and is associated with many social causes. He is also the Founder of “The World Peacekeepers Movement”, an online movement.

Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.

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The CSR Journal Team