Third Annual United Nations International Day of Happiness


As we begin our routines today, I’d like to ask you to contemplate happiness and what it means to you. Even though there is a lot of havoc and tragic events taking place in the World (when is there ever a lack of it?), three years ago the United Nations declared this day, 3/20, the International Day of Happiness. They proposed a celebration to increase the awareness of happiness for ALL human beings, independent of their life situation… even if things can, must, require to get better.

The Secretary-General of the UN published this message on the UN Website:

  • The pursuit of happiness is serious business.
  • Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations.
  • Peace, prosperity, lives of dignity for all – this is what we seek.
  • We want all men, women and children to enjoy all their human rights.
  • We want all countries to know the pleasure of peace.
  • We want people and planet alike to be blessed with sustainable development, and to be spared the catastrophic impacts of climate change.
  • Let us give thanks for what makes us happy. 
  • And let us dedicate our efforts to filling our world with happiness.

So many aspects of this message resonated with me. “The pursuit of happiness is serious business.” With our busy lives these days, sometimes it’s difficult to attend to our happiness and the happiness of others, as we are caught up in what needs to happen next, goals, deadlines, checking the next thing off our growing lists, and getting to that next destination in time. Often we lose track of the journey, and take much for granted along the way (like our freedom of living in a democratic society “We want all countries to know the pleasure of peace.”). As stress and depression rise in this country and all over the world, happiness becomes a bi-product that is forgotten or considered frivolous. But it is this frivolous state that enhances our well-being and improves our healthy psychologically, physically and socially. It is this frivolous state that can bring us a sense of purpose and meaning to our lives. It is this frivolous state that keeps us going.

When we intentionally do something that speaks to our happiness, the world around us experiences an upward spiral that touches anyone in its path, and becomes a happier place. What does that mean? Happiness is a result of and breeds love, kindness, compassion, gratitude, good will and so many more positive states which we can give to each other as gifts, as well as give to ourselves. Happiness is contagious (thank you mirror neurons), and happiness can lead to better health in so many way, for us all.

“Let us give thanks for what makes us happy.  And let us dedicate our efforts to filling our world with happiness.”

As you go about your day today, take a moment to extend gratitude, good will and compassion to others and include yourself in that circle. Send a wish of Loving Kindness to Mother Earth and all her people:

  • May WE ALL be safe and protected
  • May WE ALL be healthy, strong, vibrant, and alive
  • May WE ALL be happy, content, joyful, and grateful
  • May WE ALL have a sense of well-being and be free from worries, stress, ill will—for a moment, for a day, for any measure of time where we recognize things can be different and we recognize that we are grateful for what they are right now.  What they are right now has lead us to who we are right now, and the fact of the matter is that we are breathing and that in itself is the biggest reason to be happy!

“And let us dedicate our efforts to filling our world with happiness.”

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