24 Hours of Happiness

Illustration of Editor in Chief Karol DeWulf Nickell

Move over, Earth Day. There’s another globally important holiday on the horizon: International Day of Happiness. Designated by the United Nations, the holiday is March 20, which is also the beginning of spring this year. The day promises to be a fresh start in more ways than one. 

Live Happy is hosting a number of exciting International Day of Happiness events all across the country. You can take part in person or via social media; go to actsofhappiness.org to get connected. We’ve been preparing for months and even created our own wall of happiness—a whiteboard outside my office where staff members were encouraged to share acts of happiness. We were all enthusiastic about the idea, but Day One went by and the board sat empty.

Then, Laura Coppedge, our web content manager, wrote, “I share happiness by…” on the blank space and things started to stir. People eyed the phrase as they passed by. The next day, there were two small entries, “being polite” and “turning in a lost earring.” The next entries, “SMILES” and “helping someone carry the load,” were ultimately joined by “teaching art to kids,” “telling a joke” and 10 others. At some point, artists on our team added a sun, flowers and, yes, a smiley face. Like happiness, our wall is blossoming.

The goal set by the U.N. for International Day of Happiness is to encourage countries to consider the happiness of their people in public policy decisions. We agree that this is an essential, future-looking position, and so do many influential leaders in business, government, academia and media. Many of their comments, insights and ideas are key to our report on our first International Day of Happiness panel, which you can check out in the April 2014 issue of Live Happy.

More panel discussions continue on our website. We hope you’ll spread the conversation about the importance of happiness, too. Around your kitchen table, in the classroom and in the boardroom, in your church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship—wherever there is talk about what’s right or wrong about the world. Happiness is part of the solution for many challenges we face today and will face tomorrow. Please join us on March 20 and then keep the movement going. Celebrate happiness for a day. Choose it for a lifetime.

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