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 😊

34 thoughts on “International Day of Happiness

  1. Debbie from Deb's World March 25, 2020 / 12:10 am

    Hi Clive, I enjoyed that musical clip and agree we should be happy after listening to that song! I don’t know what to think about a day of happiness just at the moment but it is important to maintain our mental health in whatever way we can. Take care. #senisal

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Natalie March 23, 2020 / 6:00 pm

    Musical happiness is welcome, Clive. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day! #senisal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive March 23, 2020 / 6:57 pm

      Thanks, Natalie. Life would be empty without music! You have a good day too 😊

      Like

  3. browney237 March 20, 2020 / 7:56 pm

    I don’t recall seeing the original post. I wasn’t aware it was International Happiness Day but in an effort to think of reasons to be happy (I immediately felt that should as Ian Dury said be Reasons to be Cheerful) I came up with a couple of sporting ones – my local footy team the Adelaide Crows aren’t expecting a great season and it’s quite likely our season which has just opened will only be short lived! Kieren Tierney, Arsenal’s new signing has extra weeks to recover (I know that won’t have the same impact on you as a Spurs supporter 😀).
    As you also said we also have music and while I have a lot of downbeat music, at the moment my focus is on finding more upbeat stuff.
    It’s a pretty rubbish time but I’m sure we will get through it.
    I might borrow your theme for a post in the next week or so – If I do I will link it to this post as my inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive March 20, 2020 / 8:17 pm

      No worries, you aren’t compelled to read my posts – but I’m glad you do! The effects on sport here are likely to be long felt. Our cricket season is due to start soon and may be completely cancelled; all football is postponed until at least 30 April and it won’t be easy for them to restart then, but I suspect it could well be longer. As you say, there are some bright spots: by the time it kicks off again Spurs might have Kane, Son, Bergwijn, Sissoko and Davies back and might have a chance of an unlikely challenge for the Europa League. If there will be one next year, that is!

      I’m sure we will get through it but the wider damage will be felt for a long time: businesses and employment will struggle. Talking of music, could you see the song? A friend in the US told me it wasn’t visible. If not, it was the Lumineers’ Ho Hey, which always lifts my spirits.

      You’re welcome to borrow the theme – I don’t think I have any copyright on ideas! Take care, my friend.

      Like

      • browney237 March 20, 2020 / 8:25 pm

        Thanks Clive.
        We still have some sport in Australia, The A-League which I think you might also get and AFL and Rugby League. I’m not expecting the AFL or Rugby League season will go the distance or if it does it might be well into Summer before it finishes. Smartly, the AFL have opted for a shorter season and shorter game time so they can potentially play more regularly than the traditional week breaks.
        The song and video loaded and ran.
        Whether Spurs make Europa League or Champions League is an interesting question. Of course a season cancellation would see them in the Champions League – that would be a silver lining for you!
        Please take care and stay well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive March 20, 2020 / 8:35 pm

        Yes, we get those. The Sydney derby is on at 8.30am tomorrow so I’ll get my fix from that. Two or three AFL games too, including the Crows – but as that starts at 6am our time I may miss it! Hopefully they will be able to run the competitions to some kind of meaningful conclusion.

        I hope they don’t annul our season. Liverpool are worthy champions and there are all the other issues to resolve across all divisions. Spurs have been so abysmal we don’t deserve a Euro place, and if we got it through the back door it would just prolong the agony. Mourinho out!

        Glad the video ran for you, must have been a copyright issue with the US – for an American band. Go figure!

        Thanks, doing my best. You too 😊👍

        Liked by 1 person

      • browney237 March 20, 2020 / 8:40 pm

        I am not sure I would get up early to watch The Crows!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive March 20, 2020 / 8:42 pm

        Funnily enough, I doubt I will either 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Clive March 20, 2020 / 9:59 am

    Reblogged this on Take It Easy and commented:

    Given the state in which we find the world today, with the battle against the Covid-19 virus, some of the things I drew on in this post three years ago seem rather trivial by comparison. I’m assuming that many of you won’t have seen this before, as you weren’t following my blog back then, so I’m sharing it again to show you that I can be a real misery guts when the mood takes me, instead of the little ray of sunshine I usually am in my posts. Ahem…

    Somehow, I don’t think we’ll be hearing much about International Day of Happiness today, even if it has the UN’s backing. But I hope you can find some joy in today – even if it is just that the shops had some toilet rolls. If you open up the original post you’ll see one of the most joyous pieces of music I know: consider it my contribution to making at least three minutes of your day better than they were. Take care. Be safe. The government has it all under control – well, that’s what they tell us 😉

    Like

  5. Osyth March 21, 2017 / 12:22 am

    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

    • Clive March 21, 2017 / 11:16 am

      All part of the service, ma’am! Hope you finally managed some sleep after your joyful day 😊 xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Osyth March 21, 2017 / 11:18 am

        About 3 hours … I look like the wreck of the Hesperus today!! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive March 21, 2017 / 11:27 am

        You could never look that bad! I had a weird night too, must be something in the atmosphere. Don’t try any mountain climbing today! xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Osyth March 21, 2017 / 12:55 pm

        Too kind … believe me I can! I think it’s the rising sap …. Spring equinox ahoy and all that. I’m struggling to climb the stairs let alone a mountain. Hope tonight is better for us both xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Clive March 21, 2017 / 1:01 pm

        Somehow I doubt it! Whatever the cause, I hope it goes away. I need my beauty sleep, though you don’t! Looks like you’ll be having a downstairs day today – I’m so glad I live in a flat 😊xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Osyth March 21, 2017 / 1:23 pm

        Oh it IS a flat but first floor so it’s a matter of personal honour not to use the lift (did you ever see ‘Thoroughly Modern Milly’ …. its identical to the tapdancing elevator) …. but if no-ones looking, I think I’m going to be forced today 😁xx

        Liked by 2 people

      • Clive March 21, 2017 / 1:34 pm

        Sounds fair enough to me. Not seen that film, but I’m intrigued by the idea of a lift that tap dances 😊xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Osyth March 21, 2017 / 2:09 pm

        It only works when the wannabe modern girls tap dance a la flappers …. these are the things I dreamed of doing as a girl 😁xx

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Still the Lucky Few March 20, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    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

    • Clive March 20, 2017 / 2:57 pm

      Sorry, but at least I gave you some cheerful music so as not to spoil the day completely 😂

      Like

  7. Bernadette March 20, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    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

    • Clive March 20, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      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

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC March 23, 2017 / 4:45 am

        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

      • Clive March 23, 2017 / 9:43 am

        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

  8. Stevie Turner March 20, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    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

    • Clive March 20, 2017 / 2:37 pm

      To be honest I’ve no idea if there are cards for it and didn’t think to look. It just seems a stupid idea to me!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stevie Turner March 20, 2017 / 2:46 pm

        Yes it is, jut like Grandparents’ Day. That didn’t take off either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive March 20, 2017 / 2:56 pm

        I looked online. No sign of Amazon selling them, could only find one American site selling dedicated cards. It looks like 5 years of tradition haven’t caught on yet!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Natalie Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.