Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind.
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objectsAlbert Einstein
In 2012 the UN passed a resolution proclaiming March 20 to be observed as the International Day of Happiness (UNIDOHappiness). The resolution was initiated by Bhutan, a country that recognized the value of national happiness over national income and adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product. March 20 is chosen as March Equinox falls on this day. The March Equinox marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.
The theme for this year’s observation is “Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind”. Keeping calm is the essential thing to find solutions to the problems one encounters. It is crucial to focus on what is important and matters to equip to respond constructively. Staying wise for making choices helps everyone and support well-being. Being kind is more important, perhaps the beginning of finding the solution. It is a message to those who are suffering that we are all together.
Happiness has different connotations. One is the individual happiness and happiness of the societies. Hunger, lack of education and affordable health care and violation of human rights are crucial issues bringing unhappy situations the world over. According to the UNs World Happiness Report, Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is the world’s happiest city. All the cities placed down in the list (we can call them unhappiest cities) are in underdeveloped countries and those experiencing war, armed conflicts and prolonged civil wars. Kabul in Afghanistan, Sanaa in Yemen), armed conflict (Gaza in Palestine) and protracted civil wars (Juba in South Sudan, Bangui in the Central African Republic). The report says that India is placed at 144 in the happiness index, which listed 153 counties. Not so much to be happy about?.
How do we keep ourselves happy? Engage in something you enjoy, cultivate a hobby, learn something new, or do something for others. Doing things for someone else indeed makes many of us happy and volunteer to work with people in need. With the increase in life expectancy and many of the younger generation migrating to distant places searching for enhanced quality of life, the developing societies face newer problems. Many of the elderly are forced to live alone, sometimes pondering the purpose of their lives. To keep healthy and happier is a challenge many of them struggle to cope up with. Giving some of your time and be with them to bring happiness.
Despite all the progress, the world has made/making, the COVID pandemic made the world to the awakening that thre are many things outside of its control. It is almost a year since the world is struggling in dealing with the pandemic and lockdown. It has thrown many challenges, having to work from home, study from home. People have not prepared for such situations to be at home for such a long time. Families are not equipped to handle, and many middle-class families must deal with living in smaller dwellings. Privacy has become an issue. Being happy has become a challenge, and happiness has become a commodity not easy to find.
If you are happy, finding solutions becomes easier, enable one to endure the answers to the problems of the same are yet to be found. Happy people make a happy place. Togetherness in a crisis is key to happiness.
We need a world that is more inclusive, equitable and balanced.