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September 17, 2019

Happiness: a Fundamental Right for All

Every planet citizen possesses the right of happiness and well being. Happiness encompasses all facets of human life, viz, physical joy, mental pleasure, emotional fulfillment, spiritual well-being and so forth. Nearly three years back, on 21st June 2012, 193 member nations of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to celebrate the International Day of Happiness, every year on 20th March.
If we analize carefully, may realize it is a wrong thought that wealth can provide absolute happiness, joy and pleasure. One may be very rich, but not happy if he is unhealthy, not safe, or always worrying he may lose his belongings and wealth.
Myanmar, it is said, was under mismanagement for more than five decades, resulting in a least developed country. Still a large piece of nation’s population, ever proud of rich resources, is living without electricity and negative access to telephone communications. No doubt, authorities are struggling hard to overcome such handicaps and are gaining success. Gross national happiness, the qualitative measurement of well-being and happiness of a nation, originated in Bhutan, consists of seven measures, viz, economic wellness, environmental wellness, physical wellness, mental wellness, workplace wellness, social wellness and the last, but not the least, political wellness.
Sustainable development is the key factor for happiness and well-being, of course. Happiness is neither a frivocity nor a luxury. In fact, it is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family which should be available to all and denied to no one. To promote peace, justice, human rights, improve standards of life and social progress may act as guidelines for happiness.
Vivid international and national actions to ensure decent livelines, social inclusion, intercultural harmony, constructing institutions for good governance, action to evadicate proverty, to protect the environment are the bricks to build happiness.
One oversea example of happiness: Australia has topped the world as the happiest industrialized nation, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The OECD Better Life Index compares the well-being of 34 developed and emerging countries based on eleven categories including housing, income, jobs, education, life satisfication and work-life balance.
In an update launched at OECD Week in Paris, the Better Life Index found that 84 percent of Australians are satisfied with their lives—better than the OECD average of 80 percent.
Participants said they have more positive experiences, such as feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment and enjoyment, in an average day than negative ones.Astrialians’ happiness was even greater than that of Canada and Sweden, also known for high standard of living.
The survey also found that Australians are living longer, with life expectancy at almost 82 years—two years higher than the average.
Employment levels are also stronger—at 73 percent compared with an average of 66 percent for people aged 15 to 64.
Australia also performed well in the areas of civic engagement, with strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation, and health, having achieved remarkable progress in reducing the number of smokers in the population.
Let me mention a global success concerning health and happiness: Global life expectancy has risen by more than six years since 1990 thanks to falling dealth rates from cancer and heart disease in rich countries and better survival in poor countries from diarrhoea, tuberculosis and malaria.
In an analysis from the 2013 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, health researchers said, however, that while life expectancy is rising almost everywhere in the world, one notable exception is southern sub-Saharan Africa, where deaths from HIV/AIDS have erased some five years of life expectancy since 1990.
“The progress we are seeing against a variety of illnesses and injuries is good—even remarkable—but we can and must do even better,” said Christopher Murray, a professor of global health at the University of Washington in the United States, who led the study. It was published in The Lancet medical journal.
Murray said a huge increase in collective action and funding given to potentially deadly infectious diseases such as diarrhoea, measles, tuberculosis, HIV and malaria has had a real impact, reducing death rantes and extending life expectancy.
May all possess happiness and joy.

Dr Aung Soe (Retired State Medical Superintendent)

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