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Rev. Chuck Freeman: A Cure For "All Streets": Gross National Happiness

Jun 11, 2010 9:34:13 AM- huffingtonpost.com
New money religion:

"Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of total production of goods and services in a country over a specified period, typically a year. How much GDP grows from one period to the next is an indication of a country's economic health."

Old money religion:

"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a person's life does not consist in the abundance of their possessions."

Right here on planet earth, in our day, old money religion meets new money religion. In Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck's December 17, 2006, coronation address the fifth king of Bhutan proclaimed that fulfilling the vision of Gross National Happiness will be one of the primary responsibilities of his reign.

"Our country, in these changing times finds immense new challenges and opportunities, whatever work we do, whatever goals we have - and no matter how these may change in this changing world - ultimately without peace, security and happiness we have nothing," Khesar said. "That is the essence of the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. Our most important goal is the peace and happiness of our people and the security and sovereignty of the nation."

Gross National Happiness consists of nine core dimensions:

1. Psychological Well-being
2. Time Use
3. Community Vitality
4. Culture
5. Health
6. Education
7. Environmental Diversity
8. Living Standard
9. Governance

New money religion is one dimensional and predicated on forever-increasing consumption.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke speaking before the House Budget Committee on June 9 reassured the legislators.

"Even with a pullback in government stimulus, strengthening consumer spending should be sufficient to support the nascent recovery," Bernanke said.

Old money religion speaks a contrasting story.

"The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."'

But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'

"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

An ancient Jewish avatar and a Contemporary Buddhist King unite old money religion and new money religion in an eternal ethos.

"My deepest concern is that as the world changes we may lose these fundamental values on which rest our character as a nation and people. It is critical that we are able to recognize Bhutanese character irrespective of how far we look back into the past or into the future...the character of our people and the nature of our fundamental values have remained unchanged. Henceforth, as even more dramatic changes transform the world and our nation, as long as we continue to pursue the simple and timeless goal of being good human beings, and as long as we strive to build a nation that stands for everything that is good, we can ensure that our future generations for hundreds of years will live in happiness and peace."

How do you say "Amen!" in Buddhist?

Read more: Buddhism, Jesus, Financial Crisis, Ben Bernanke, Money, Happiness, Religion News