Happiness is and should be the purpose of government. The word government comes from Greek κυβέρνησις meaning to steer a ship. Inherent to the idea of steering, and governing, is the notion that there is a destination. The north star of those steering, or governing, any nation, is the happiness of the people.
But how does a government steer the nation towards happiness when, for most, the concept is fuzzy at best? The same way anyone finds their way when they are lost. By tethering themselves to something they know. Sometimes you have to look back to find the way forward.
For some, government seems like a ship lost at sea, bobbing about this way and that with the tides and storms. They need a chart. They need a way to understand whether people really are happy or not, who is suffering, and how to alleviate misery and safeguard happiness.
Looking backwards to the founders of modern democracy, in the words of John "the happiness of society is the end of government" (meaning the purpose, not the demise - in fact, when happiness is not the purpose of government, it can start to feel like the end of opportunity and quality of life).
Looking back at the work we at the Happiness Alliance have been doing since 2010, working with small and national governments, with community organizers, researchers and businesses, and looking forward to a future where happiness is not only the purpose but also the business of government, we wrote the Happiness Policy Handbook.
It is choke full of lessons, experience-based knowledge and tested tools and resources for transforming how we think about- and do- business.
We hope you will buy this book and feel empowered to change your town, city, region and nation for world were all people have equal opportunity to be happy, and no one is left in misery. Buy on Amazon, or directly from our most wonderful publishers, New Society Publishing,