Tuesday, January 8, 2013

By Invitation Only...

Dear Marsha of Splenderosa is asking for us to reflect the world's problems by considering  these critical points... What is wrong with the world and what is good with the world.

Of late, I have seen a little too close up of what is wrong with the world and the media - driven as it is  by ratings (read revenues) - is more than happy to constantly remind us of what is wrong with our world. I guess their financial bottom lines depend on the woes of the world.

I am going to focus on a beautiful remote country, hidden away in the Himalayas, that has taught me a wonderful lesson of what is good with the world.

The Kingdom of  Bhutan

Bhutan is one of the most mysterious places on Earth with very few visitors. I was very fortunate to travel through this extraordinary kingdom, visit the monasteries, trek and sleep in tents among the most beautiful untouched nature. Bhutan tributes to economic theory is not about their GNP, but the country measures itself according the the Gross National Happiness. I will not go into the mathematical dissertation on the measurements of happiness, but rather on a theory that, in reaching for a perfect good world, we must strive for happiness. On March 28, 2012, The United Nations implemented a resolution, placing happiness on the global agenda: "Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal, and recognizing that the gross domestic product does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people." An impressive array of luminaries spoke for this remote Himalayan kingdom. His Royal Highness, the Price of Wales, Nobel laureate, Joseph Stiglitz, economist Jeffrey Sachs. The Bhutanese have combined  Buddhist spirituality and barefoot economics into a unique model that other nations can learn from. The ex French president Nicolas Sarkozy even commissioned a study of "the economic performance and social progress" that include some Gross national Happiness indicators such as walking, reading and love making...well France is the nation of lover after all!!

Traditional values are the pillar of the Gross national happiness, the operating concept of governance in Bhutan. There are 4 pillars of Gross National Happiness.


The environment is 100 protected as are the animals that thrive in the mountains and the plains.It is illegal to kill animals or feed on animal meat in Bhutan


Traditional dancing festivals

Education is extremely important. Children taking their examination

Children walk up to 2 hours each way to go to school


Tiger's Nest Monastery

Children are enrolled in Buddhist studies at a young age.


Young scholar,soon to attend Harvard University

Archery is the national sport

Farming is the main source of income

Very artistic and graphic phalluses are displayed in rural houses to drive away the evil eye and malicious gossips...


The children are very much loved, cared for and protected... which is all we can  ask for to our society.

A bientot,



  1. Absolutely beautiful Francine ..........images from your travelling adventures and your inspirational words show us just what is right with the world..... and it is the spirititual and moral values that shine through.
    Here's to a peaceful world, full of love and kindness in 2013. XXXX

  2. Francine, this is an amazing post--how envious I am that you have been to Bhutan! I'll admit it. I have long been fascinated by their GNH policies and that everyone is taken care of. I proposed stories to several magazines here to go...and did get a "green light" that sadly turned to red. Remi has already been but I think that it is probably still number 1 on my Wish List. Thank you for this beautiful glimpse...

  3. Beautiful post with wonderful images, Francine!
    Bhutan - certainly a Kingdom of happiness and wisdom. I do hope that it can/will keep all of it!

    Warmest greetings from the Périgord and
    Meilleurs Voeux pour une tres heureuse et Bonne Annee 2013!

  4. Francine, you have perfectly depicted an example of life as it should be. I often wonder what we are
    doing running around chasing our tails (you know, monster corporations, etc.) when all our heavenly Father wanted was for us, as a people, to be happy and do good deeds for each other. Oh, I could wax philosophical on this, and one day we will do it together, but I truly know what you have shown is the answer. I am blessed to know you and call you my friend, my entire day is better because of you and the other ladies of our lovely group, "By Invitation Only."

  5. What a wonderful post...lessons for all of us...and hope for humanity as well!

  6. Francine, what an interesting and thought provoking post! Beautiful images, thank you. I have read of their GNH policy before. So simple, but powerful. It seems in the west, it is far more difficult to scale down and do with less, to attain more. It's all the keeping up with everyone else that is so stressful. A small country like this has much to teach us! Thanks again! Deborah from Melbourne, Australia.

  7. Thank you for visitingmy blog and also for this very informative post. You've got me so curious I am going to read more about this remote country.

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  9. Good morning, or rather, BONJOUR FRANCINE!

    How interesting that such a beautiful place as this does not get a lot of attention, and maybe that is a good thing. From the looks of the photos, they seem to be strongly connected to their culture through traditional ceremonies, close-knit communities that keep education at the forefront. While no culture or place is perfect, what makes for a peaceful community perhaps is focusing on the spiritual component on our being..

    Thank you for your visit and kind words! I do not teach workshops, as I am barely learning, ON MY OWN, this art of paper. However, I am not sure how long my dream will be kept alive. Duty calls and other "dreams" are causing me to wake up to what I really want to do...and that is requiring me to make even MORE adjustments and even some sacrifices. LIFE LESSONS in the making. MUCH LOVE! Anita

  10. Francine, stunning images. It must have been a life changing trip! Life lessons.

    Art by Karena

  11. A most thought-provoking and beautifully illustrated post, Francine. It is nice to be reminded of what is good in the world. Isn't it sad though that 'happiness' requires a resolution in order to elevate its importance in the world?

  12. How interesting! I found you through Tina's blog. I am now a new subscriber :)

  13. Thank you for sharing this, it seems like heaven on earth. I was lead to you thru Greige! What a gift.


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