I’m a big fan of Bill McKibben’s book Deep Economy. In it, he writes about the measurable increase in happiness that comes from community contact. Just the simple act of interacting with others in your community makes you happier. It could be at the Farmer’s Market, or at your kid’s soccer game, or in your front yard. While out on my morning run today, I decided that running should be on this list of “community activities.” Why shouldn’t it be?
I’d say that running is a terrific way to be in touch with others in your community. Community here is loosely defined–it could be the greater community of runners, like at a race or a Roadrunners training run. It could be a neighbor that you wave to while heading out on an afternoon run. It could be your coach. Whatever. Do you feel that your life, as well as those that you come in contact with during your running, is improved by the fact that you’ve gone out for a run? If so, how would you measure the collective life improvement of everyone that is positively affected by the millions of runs that take place every day? With a multiple like that, you’d have to say that running is a prime generator of the GNH (Gross National Happiness)!