Out of a babe’s mouth: how to be happy



“Happy”. Are you counted among about 200 million others around the globe who have viewed songwriter Pharrell William’s You Tube video? Wondered what is fueling its wild popularity?

United Nations Secretary General Ban Kimoon explains the desire for happiness as “a deep seated yearning shared by all members of the human family.” In July 2011, the UN adopted a groundbreaking resolution which recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal”. In April 2012 the first ever UN Conference on Happiness took place in New York and a further resolution was adopted for an International Day of Happiness to be observed every year on the 20th of March. Perhaps everyone responds to “happy” because we all feel it is essential to human life!

Last year Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News health and medical editor, said during a Twitter chat with leading health experts that happiness has been correlated with better health, both in individuals and communities. He then asked of them the natural next question:

What are the secrets of happiness?

There were a host of answers, none suggesting personal wealth was a factor. Responses included expressing gratitude, performing acts of kindness or altruism, the importance of laughter, meditation, and religious or spiritual faith – all health giving attitudes.

There must be a larger governing principle working here than just positive thinking…
Last July a summer enrichment program in my community brought together a group of elementary school kids (considered disadvantaged), their high school mentors and me to begin the day with a brief devotional. The topic given us was Moses’ 10th Commandment paraphrased, “Be happy with what you have. Don’t wish for other people’s things.”

Their first comments were about what their friends had that they lacked – having an X-Box, money, a nice house, nice friends, etc. They concluded it was impossible not to wish for other people’s things!

Then we talked about what we wished for and how we could live the qualities those things represent. For example taking good care of and appreciating what we do have, treating others as we would like to be treated, etc. I told them I had discovered – by doing just that – God does not play favorites, but loves us all so much.

One of the youngest raised his hand and said, “Oh I get it! It doesn’t matter where you were born or who you were born, God loves you just the same.”

And I think Pharrell Williams would concur! His lyrics state, “Happiness is the truth.” Happiness then is a universal principle available to all, from a little child to health professionals to the UN.

– See more at: http://hartfordfavs.com/2014/05/08/babes-mouth-happy/#sthash.EfRuCtcG.dpuf

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