International Day of Happiness

In case you hadn’t noticed and the festivities had passed you by, today is International Day of Happiness. I think we could be forgiven for not noticing this as the celebrations here in the UK appear to be non-existent. How could this be? This is a long-standing tradition that goes all the way back to, er, 2012, when it was first decreed by the United Nations. Here’s the relevant extract from their resolution, in case you don’t believe me:

The words are worthy, but I have a huge degree of difficulty in understanding how anyone can think that we can be told to be happy. It’s a bit like telling a depressed person to ‘get over it,’ it isn’t something that can be made to happen just because someone says so, or wants it to happen. Frankly, with all the evidence to the contrary, I think the UN is on a loser with this one and has many far more serious matters worthy of its attention. The world is in a mess, and decreeing a day to be happy is, frankly, ludicrous. Here in the UK we’re faced with the ramifications of the vote to leave the EU: the levels of xenophobia and racism that the campaign and its aftermath have stirred up; the uncertain financial and political future our country will face when we go it alone, led by a government that is clinging grimly to a mantra that everything will be wonderful when, in reality, they are as clueless as the rest of us; the possibility that not only will we leave the EU but will see the UK break up. Reasons to be cheerful? I think not.

Take a look at the wider world and the situation is no better. ISIS and other terrorists are implacable enemies of peace and harmony. There are ‘populist’ movements throughout Europe making electoral gains. And the largest ‘populist’ vote of them all was the one that bought the lies of a conman only interested in feathering his own nest but has somehow persuaded a minority vote to get him elected President of the US, due to their crazy Electoral College system. But, to be fair, he does seem to be doing his bit to contribute to Happiness Day: we Brits are still laughing helplessly at his assertion that GCHQ was somehow involved in the plot he imagines Obama started to bug his offices. Trumpgate; the comedy gift that keeps on giving.

I could go on at length about this, but that is not the aim of this post and many, far better informed, commentators than I exist to do this. My point today is to pick up on the apparent stupidity of designating a day to be one on which governments worldwide can do something to highlight and improve an emotional construct. Try telling that to the many refugees around the world, or those who are discriminated against for reasons of religion, ethnicity or colour – and by this I don’t mean those who happen to be orange. The phrase ‘pissing in the wind’ comes to mind.

I’ve painted a deliberately negative picture, and no doubt there are loads of activities and initiatives being taken today in the name of happiness. One such example is this piece from today’s Metro newspaper. There’s nothing new here, but advice on how to improve your mental health can never be repeated too much. To me, that is exactly what encouraging people to be happy is all about. There is allegedly a website for the day – happinessday.org – and I was going to give you a link to it. But I’ve tried it in four different browsers and it doesn’t load – maybe it’s crashed under the weight of interest?

But whatever is being done today in the name of happiness, I wonder how much of it has any long-term sustainable benefit. Maybe it’s just me being an old curmudgeon but I suspect that all the worthy efforts that may be being made will soon be forgotten, and that is really sad. Governments, those with the power and money, should be doing much more to help us all be happier. But vested interests tend to get in the way, and the rich continue to get richer at the expense of the less privileged. It will take a lot more than a token day to change that for the better.

One of the things in life that makes me happy is music. So, not wanting this to be an entirely negative post, I leave you with three minutes of musical happiness:

Try telling me you aren’t happier after watching that than you were before! Have a good day, and be happy – remember, it’s mandatory 😊

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23 thoughts on “International Day of Happiness

  1. Bluddy Hell …. if you hadn’t reminded me I had to be happy today I might have made a total bish of it and been a bitch all day and then felt hugely guilty because I was supposed to be being happy according to UN edict. What utter tosh. However your post is not at all toshy but full of toothsome wit and wisdom and I thoroughly enjoyed it which given that its 01:21 and i can’t sleep I am inordinately grateful for. Toodlepip! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, Darn! I was all set to celebrate Happiness Day—coffee in hand, document open to my next week’s post, sun shining for it’s promised 1.3 hours (before the clouds roll in), TV newscasts off. Now, it’s all ruined! Oh, well, maybe next year…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. International Day of Happiness???? I think the U.N. is following the yellow brick road to Oz with this one. The timing is good though. The first day of spring always brings happy thoughts and expectations.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, it seems a very silly idea to me. With everything going on in the world one day off from the usual misery isn’t going to make a long term difference! It feels more like winter than spring here today anyway 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jumped over from the Senior Salon
        ~~~~~~~~~~~
        You know Clive, I can’t agree. I think that anything that turns a political body’s attention to the idea of increasing happiness in the world can’t help but do at least a bit of good. If it changes even one vote toward relieving some of the misery in the world, I say more power too it!

        Loved the music, btw – still playing in my head as I type. Thanks for sharing – and happy Happiness Day. lol 🙂
        xx,
        mgh
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Madelyn. I take your point, and accept that the words and idea behind the day are valid and worthy. I just feel that this is a token gesture, and there is so much more that should be being done every day of the year. Maybe it will change some people’s views, maybe it will take several more years to become accepted and meaningful. After yesterday’s events in London anything would be welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I had no idea that today is the International Day of Happiness. My cynical mind tells me there’s a bit of a lull in the greetings card industry between Christmas and Easter, so perhaps we’re supposed to send cards wishing all and sundry a happy day of happiness? Even better, if we send the cards abroad to our US friends, then Royal Mail will benefit too!

    Liked by 1 person

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