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THEORIES OF WELL-BEING .. Is there a common yardstick ?

India finally crossed the barrier of 100 medals in the last Asian Games. But in the scheme of things, despite the progress in the last decade, the leader in Asia is still China with 383 medals. And Afghanistan won an improbable 4 matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Sri Lanka just survived a crippling economic melt down. Yet, in 2022, the per capita income on PPP basis was $ 14405, much higher than India's $ 8379 ranked 120th. Russia is still rated as a super power, but in the world order of biggest economies India ranks No 5, Italy No 8, Canada 10. Russia does not figure in the picture, while USA is No 1.

In the 2022 Happiness Index, for the sixth consecutive year, Finland was ranked on top, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Israel and the Netherlands. Among the healthiest countries, the list goes like this..Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, 2023.

So, in absence of any apparent correlation between size of economy, per capita income, health indices and happiness, how does any group of people or what we call nations, first set their goals and then go in pursuit of those goals ? Then, is the truism 'Money does not bring happiness' actually true?

Striving, Searching and Surviving seems to be an equally merit-worthy aim` in the 21st century. Progress is seen to be temporary or transient in retrospect; Looking back, splitting the atom was a breakthrough but brought the perils of nuclear war and yet could not solve the energy crisis. We know now that the discovery of plastics was great, but the problems of its disposal is still unresolved.

Therefore, is there is a 'fine balance' which has emerged in the bargain ? A realization that every nation or people, however obscure, small or poor can contribute something to the world. They could teach us a way to use resources, a way to educate, a way to live with trees, animals & short a way to live.

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