International Day of Happiness

That elusive state of mind we are all searching for, happiness has multiple meanings and each meaning is different for each of us. Celebrated all over the year each year on 20 March, the International Day of Happiness was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012 and aims to make people around the world realize the importance of happiness in their lives.

Before the establishment of the International Day of Happiness, the President of the World Happiness Foundation, Jayme Illien, along with Luis Gallardo founded Happytalism. Illien ran a campaign at the United Nations from 2006 to 2012 to encourage and advance the primacy of happiness, well-being, and democracy. In 2011, Jayme Illien proposed the idea of the International Day of Happiness at the United Nations General Assembly to promote happiness economics around the world by improving the economic development of all countries. The idea was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 July 2011 at the initiative of then-Prime Minister Jigme Thinley of Bhutan, a country that has famously pursued the target of Gross National Happiness since the 1970s.

The International Day of Happiness was officially established in 2012 and first commemorated in 2013. Building on the concept of Jayme Illien, the United Nations has taken a step forward with World Happiness Day to inform people about the importance of happiness in people’s lives and the need to incorporate happiness into public policies. On World Happiness Day, the United Nations General Assembly calls for people to make more continuous progress and the small things that continue to make their lives better.

The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal and happiness plays an important role in addressing the many challenges the world faces, both complex and interrelated. The world needs a new economic paradigm that recognises the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development. Social, economic, and environmental well-being are indivisible and together they define gross global happiness. Happiness should not be a luxury for a few with the pursuit of happiness being universal and fundamental.

In the steps to Global Happiness, we learn that happiness is a fundamental human right and goal for all, happiness is a universal aspiration in the lives of all with happiness being a way of living, being, and serving communities and society. Happiness is a north star for individuals, communities, governments, and society and the path to happiness leads toward achieving sustainable development goals. Happiness is a new paradigm for human development and the worldwide celebration of the international day of happiness is democratic, diverse, organic, and inclusive.

The World Happiness Report is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative of the United Nations. This report ranks the different countries on national happiness, based on respondent ratings of the lives of their citizens, the report also correlates with various quality of life factors and the report primarily uses data from the Gallup World Poll.

On this International Happiness Day, while you’re enjoying the things that bring you happiness, please think about sharing your happiness with others. Be grateful, share your blessings and give back as much as you can and share happiness.

Poem: Happiness

What is happiness, I often ask myself
Is it the state of pure bliss or is it something else
When do we achieve happiness
Or is something elusive we hope to reach

How do we achieve happiness, I wonder
Will it be when are financially secure, or do we need more
Will it be when we have a happy life, or do we ask for more
Or will it be when we have everything, but then we still want more

When do we reach the pinnacle of happiness
What are our parameters for reaching that goal
Each one of us marches to a different beat
What’s happiness for me is pure misery for you

So let us all search for our definition of happiness
Be it small as a good cup of coffee to as big and elusive as a happy and peaceful life
Whatever that may be, may it bring you joy and peace
And you find that happiness every hour and every day

Poem: What is Happiness

I was pondering about what makes us happy the other day and this poem was the result of that rumination. Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. It’s the opposite of sadness. Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness.

What is Happiness

What is happiness I ask you?
It is the spark from within which lights up your entire being
It is that essence that fills up and bring a smile so you want to sing

What is happiness I ask you?
It is the joy that springs forth and bubbles
Infecting everyone around with that same joy and chortles

What is happiness I ask you?
It is seeing that same happiness reflected in others
It is looking at someone and wordlessly knowing all the answers

What is happiness I ask you?
It is being content and satisfied
It is living a life in the present and with pride

What is happiness I ask you?
It is being with friends and family
It is being loved unconditionally

What is happiness I ask you?
It is spreading the same joy and happiness everywhere
For happiness is shared, is when you become a happiness billionaire