“The great thing about social movements is everybody gets to be a part of them.” ~Jim Wallis
I have a confession to make: I want to start a happiness movement.
Something deep inside me yearns to reach millions, to extend the message to every corner of the globe, to inspire a radical shift toward happiness.
I ache to draw those stagnated in the grey pools of dissatisfaction into the cool breeze of passion, purpose and joy.
I Want the World to be Bathed in Happiness
I want to wake up the despondent and miserable to the opportunity of happiness, to proclaim the possibility of happiness, to swing open the door to its potential, to shout from the mountain tops that happiness is available to everyone.
I want to generate a growing buzz that spreads across the internet and into the conversations of the humble and powerful alike.
I want that conversation to change the way we culturally think about happiness, the goals we set for how we live in relation to happiness, the seriousness of the topic of happiness, the passion and drive that burns in our hearts for happiness.
I want the world to know the principles upon which it is predicated and rattle the cages of false assumptions.
I want people to know the work of happiness is worth the effort, that it will do more to improve their lives and lift them to new heights than most anything else they could ever work on.
I want to create a movement, not about me, but about you, about happiness, about you taking the message of happiness, the benefits of happiness and the amazingness of happiness out into the larger world.
I want the world, in fact, to be awash in happiness, lubricated at its squeaky points, warmed by its glow, changed by its substance.
I want happiness to be massaged deep into its wounds and loose, flabby skinfolds of neglect.
I want it to fill those lost and weary and self-absorbed souls in search of something they don’t realize they’re searching for.
I want it to save the depressed from their depression and rescue the despondent from their lethargy.
I want to generate excitement about it. Hope that it’s possible. Passion in its pursuit. Openness to its possibility. Hunger for its reality. Energy behind it. Buzz about it. Perseverance in it. Dedication to its cause.
In short, I want to ignite a happiness revolution.
How Happiness Changes the World
Why? Because happy people are healthier, better adjusted, more confident, more productive, friendlier, kinder, and more loving.
They raise better kids, make better parents and spouses, become better friends, are better employers and employees and leaders and neighbors and citizens.
Less crime is committed by happy people. Fewer drugs are taken by happy people. Fewer happy people abuse their children, murder their neighbors, vandalize property, join a gang, riot, rape or rob.
Happy people are quicker to forgive and slower to anger. They hate less and love more. They judge less and serve more. They hurt less and are kinder and more charitable.
Happy parents produce happier children, who produce happier children, who produce happier children, who produce, well, you get the point.
The bottom line is that a happiness revolution is also a responsibility movement, a courage movement, an optimism movement, a compassion and human potential and love and family and emotional health and character movement.
Happy people, simply said, make the world a better place to live.
In every way.
What Should a Happiness Movement Look like?
But what does such a movement look, smell and taste like? What does it entail? What is done within such a community of movers? What kinds of voices are heard? How much divergence can a movement absorb?
Or how singular should the message be to prevent dilution and undercurrents that miss the point or steer followers in the wrong direction or condemn it to factious self-destruction? Remember, a kingdom with too many kings doesn’t remain a kingdom for very long. So what definition or interpretation of happiness or what parameters of happiness should rule?
I guess we’ll figure all that out as we go.
But Why a Movement?
I’ve decided that only a movement of many voices will ever have the horsepower to make it to the top of the mountain where the message of happiness can be clearly heard and reliably identified.
Lone voices are important voices, but are rarely heard above the din of daily living. Politics. Economics. The daily fare of murder and mayhem on television news. Hot button issues debated by screaming faces on News programs.
These make a solo voice sound like so much fluff in the rough and tumble world of the 6:00 news, a mere whisper among megaphones.
But collective voices tend to be heard. They rise above the din. They echo far more widely and ring in more ears and penetrate more hearts. They excite passion, attract attention and promote participation.
So, Now What?
For now, we’re just looking for recruitment. So join the ranks of the happiness movers! This is the ground floor, my first call to action. You are the grassroots at the first watering.
The numbers will be few at first, but I trust they won’t remain so.
I’ve created a Happiness Movement FB Page that will act as the hub of the movement. Click over and Like the page to add your name to the numbers.
If you’re a blogger, be sure to keep reading. There’s a special invitation to bloggers coming up in a moment that offers you a chance to participate in a unique way (with tangible traffic benefits to boot!).
What kind of action will we take? That’s something we’ll be talking about.
A few initial thoughts include the possibility of spreading a collectively created Happiness Manifesto, promoting national legislation for a Happiness Awareness Day, expanding the scope and depth of our message, holding workshops or seminars and training courses, starting a Happiness Matters campaign and curriculum for schools.
But seriously, the sky is the limit. There are so many creative and passionate minds out there that can start talking about ways of extending the message and changing the world. This is, in part, a forum for that conversation to take place and build momentum.
We need happiness advocates and happiness curious on-lookers open to becoming passionate advocates as they get inspired by that message.
We need politicians and plumbers, therapists and thespians, cops and carpenters, teachers and technicians, musicians and mothers and fathers and students and everyone interested in living happier lives and sharing their happiness with others.
Of course, if all you want is to be an onlooker, to read and learn on your own, there’s a place for you here too. We are first and foremost a university of happiness, providing information, insight, updates, research, wisdom, challenges, inspiration and community.
But as I said earlier, the first step is to build a community, recruiting those who are passionate enough about the cause to join The Happiness Movement Facebook page.
If you’re interested or curious or think you might be, just follow the link and Like The Happiness Movement. Invite your friends on over to do the same.
As the numbers grow and interest is sparked and passion deepened, we will start to look at next steps. But don’t be intimidated by the plan. If you never do anything but read and Like, you will be adding needed numbers to the growing movement, lending it strength, impact and credibility.
No matter how active or passive your participation, we want it all the same. The movement depends on each of you to help it grow into something that can legitimately be called a movement.
The Time is Ripe
I was recently interviewed for a documentary on happiness called, Pursuing Happiness. The film-makers are literally pursuing the happiest people in America, looking for what they know and think and do that makes them so darn happy.
Sprinkled throughout the documentary will be interviews (such as mine) with those working in the happiness field.
Check it out here and stay posted for updates on when and where the film will hit the big screen.
The bottom line is that happiness is on the move:
- The UN just this year and for the first time declared an International Day of Happiness.
- Major publications, from Time Magazine to the New York Times are covering the topic.
- Scientific research is proliferating and getting headline coverage.
- Amazon alone has well over 32,000 books listed under that particular subject heading alone.
Now is the time for a movement to take root, to excite interest and spread the message of happiness to more lives than ever before. Interest is peaked. Seeds have been planted. The times call for action, for bold steps that put us out in the open, standing for a way of life that is worthy of the action taken in its behalf.
Special Note to Bloggers
This is an invitation to bloggers to participate uniquely by placing a button linked to The Happiness Movement page in your sidebar and perhaps in specific articles on happiness as you post them to your site.
This will potentially send your readers to the Facebook page and in return, you can add your posts on happiness to the page and enjoy the additional traffic your site gets from readers from other blogs doing the same thing.
If curious: Just click on the sample button to the right. It will take you to an email form. Drop me a line with a link to your blog so I can peruse your work. Assuming there’s a fit with The Happiness Movement, I’ll send you a longer explanation and the button options you can choose from so you can get started without delay.
Promoting a national and even world-wide conversation about the principles of happiness, the importance of happiness, the necessity of happiness, the rewards and benefits of happiness, the how-to of happiness will be an ongoing, step-by-step process.
It is a process that has the potential of changing the world one smile, one heart, one breath of inspiration at a time.
Its goal is to provide specific tools and ideas to generate excitement about the conversation.
Its purpose is to then fuel those conversations across countless tables during family meals, out with friends, on dates (why not?), with parents and between parents, among leaders and movers and shakers and everyone else by providing compelling content, advice, tips, techniques, and principles as the subject matter.
Its aim is to change the culture of unhappiness, to act as a signpost redirecting people searching for happiness in all the wrong places.
Its object is nothing less than a revolution in human joy, a movement that will reach the masses and change them where it counts most: In their hearts and thoughts and beliefs and action and smack dab in the middle of their happiness.
So join the groundswell today, right now, by Liking The Happiness Movement FB Page. Click here and head over (or click the banner below), Like it and come back and tell me what you think about the Page and the concept more generally, or any part of it.
I’m accepting constructive advice for improvement too … with, I might add, open and appreciative arms.
Don’t forget to Like and Share this post to help promote the movement and spread the message of happiness!