The American Dream is being updated - Part 3

Today calls for a harsh reassessment focused on our pursuit of life (as we want it to be), liberty (the freedom to do what we choose) and the pursuit of happiness (living a happy and healthy life). Sarkozy, the President of France, recently proposed that the G-20 world leaders join together in a "revolution" to shift the measurement of economic progress from gross domestic product to account for factors such as health-care availability and leisure time. “The global financial crisis,” reports Sarkozy “doesn't only make us free to imagine other models, another future, and another world. It obliges us to do so," As early as 1972, the small Himalayan country of Bhutan announced that they were focusing on Gross National Happiness as their measure of development. It is based on the premise that the development of society takes place when both material and spiritual developments occur side by side and reinforce each other. It is not just one-sided focused on stressing economic growth, both ideas of the equation matter equally. The four pillars measured in Bhutan are: sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conserving the natural environment, and establishing good governance. Not a bad way to measure development. Imagine if we integrated these concepts into our GNP.


            The American Dream, is being replaced with the New American Lifestyle. This lifestyle is based upon quality of living indicators. It is no longer just about work, but about the total quality of the life we live. In 2005, the Economist developed an index based upon nine quality of life indicators; material well-being, life expectancy, political stability and security, family life, community life, climate and geography, job security, political freedom, gender quality. The key in the study was to understand the interplay of modernity and tradition in determining life satisfaction.  It doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank or how new your car is, but how secure you feel and satisfied you are with your overall life; physically, mentally, spiritually. The time is coming in which the public will demand that these qualities are included as key measures for developed nations.




Excerpted from Courage and Croissants, Inspiring Joyful Living by Suzanne Saxe-Roux and Jean P. Roux