Our far-flung correspondents report back on how people celebrated International Day of Happiness around the country.
It was a beautiful day at Klyde Warren Park; kids played soccer, Frisbees flew and dogs bathed in the sun. People enjoyed their lunch from the long line of food trucks while listening to tunes from i93 FM.
Seven-year-old Nolyn from Nashville said that “a good joke, and seeing other people happy” make him feel happy.
For Nebraska’s Isaac and Sherry, smiling is their act of happiness. Isaac believes it’s the little things we do for each other that make the world a better place, like “opening doors, being pleasant and courteous and smiling back.”
According to Dinah’s husband, Alan, when they found out about International Day of Happiness, they felt they needed to come out and support Dallas. “If we start here,” Alan says, “it will spread all over.
“Smile” was the theme of the day at Chicago’s happiness wall at the Shops at North Bridge.
Among those with smiles on their faces was Marilee McGowan, who said her act of happiness was to smile at everyone she saw. “There are mirror neurons in all of us that make people smile back when you smile at them, and it makes both of you happy,” she said. “I'm going to smile at everyone I see today because it comes easily to me.”
Even 19-month-old Amaya Martin and 93-year-old Henriette Simon got in on the act. While Amaya wore an Acts of Happiness sticker, Henriette showed off a bright-yellow flower on her lapel. When asked why, her answer was simple: “Because it makes people happy.”
Our Happiness Wall at Peachtree Center attracted a diverse mix of people, from businessmen and women in suits to high school students and construction workers. We even met a woman who had survived the civil war in Liberia.
Some sample Acts of Happiness: giving compliments, singing, making people laugh, buying lunch for a co-worker, and taking a friend to an 8 am job interview. One woman recounted this inspiring story: When a co-worker was about to be evicted, she and her other co-workers pooled resources to pay her rent, and gave her a gift card to buy groceries.
From New York City:
The weather was cold and windy in New York, but a joyful crowd gathered to exchange smiles and have fun at the Acts of Happiness Wall.
Many participants posted acts of happiness related to important people in their lives: parents, kids, spouses, significant others. Quite a few expressed gratitude for recovery from illness.
The posts ranged from broad (loving more) to very specific (helping my friends who don’t have a washing machine do laundry twice a week).
People came mostly in pairs or groups; some were reluctant to join in at first, but they almost always left the smiling.