20th March is the International Day of Happiness Be happy and spread happiness

Ranjan K Baruah
There may be different definitions of happiness or being happy. No one may exactly define what happiness means, as definition may vary from person to person and community to community. It is a positive and pleasant emotion, ranging from contentment to intense joy. Moments of happiness may be triggered by positive life experiences or thoughts, but sometimes it may arise from no obvious cause. The causes may be different for different reasons as there is no definite cause or reason that would make someone happy. It is really challenging to be happy but people are living to be happy and enjoy every moment though many do not get the opportunity to live happily.
The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20th March as the International Day of Happiness (IDH), recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. It also recognized the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.
The resolution was initiated by Bhutan, a country which recognized the value of National happiness over National income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product. It also hosted a High Level Meeting on "Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm" during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.
It’s a day to be happy, of course ! Happiness is a fundamental human goal. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes this goal and calls for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples.” World Happiness Report 2024 lands on 20 March, to mark the UN’s IDH.
Governments and international organizations should invest in conditions that support happiness by upholding human rights and incorporating well-being and environmental dimensions into policy frameworks, such as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The effectiveness of Governments in upholding peace and social order, as well as in the fields of taxation, legal institutions and delivery of public services, strongly correlates with average life satisfaction.
One of the interesting projects related to happiness began in 2014 by UNESCO Bangkok. It is the Happy Schools Project which offers an alternative approach to improving learning experiences by prioritizing school happiness. By focusing on well-being, engagement, and sense of belonging at school, the Happy Schools Project helps foster a lifelong love of learning. In 2022, a guide and toolkit were developed. The Happy Schools Project is going global with its advocacy for prioritizing well-being and happiness in schools, with renewed focus on bettering learning experiences.
Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) led by its Chief Executive Member Shri Pramod Boro has started a community happiness programme. It has launched the happiness mission to spread happiness and bring more unity and amity amongst different communities living in the region. Under the happiness mission different activities are being carried out to spread the importance of happiness. The international day aims to make people around the world realize the importance of happiness within their lives.
All of us should try to be happy and we must concentrate on activities which make us happy. Being positive in attitude shall help one to be happy. Negative person may not always be happy. Happiness matters because when people are happy then only society and Nations prosper. Poverty must end from the earth because poor people may not always be happy. Not only poverty but all other negative things must be eliminated from the planet to keep people happy. Let us be happy and spread happiness amongst others.
(With direct inputs from UN publications)
(Ranjan K Baruah is the Advisor of Skill Employment and Entrepreneurship Department of Bodoland Territorial Region, Kokrajhar and can be reached at 8473943734 or [email protected])