Ranjan K Baruah
(With direct inputs from UN publication, and feedback can be sent to email@example.com)
Sometime it is difficult to define happiness as there might be different definitions of happiness depending upon countries, ethnicity, locations, cultural back ground, etc. Many of us perhaps don’t believe we need a formal definition of happiness as we define it according to our own perspectives. The term happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama “happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions”. According to our father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. Dale Carnegie termed as “happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.” Now we can understand that there are different perspectives when it comes to happiness.
It is interesting and important for us to know that there is day marked as International Day of Happiness. It’s a day to be happy, of course! Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. In 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness. The United Nations invites each person of any age, plus every classroom, business and government to join in celebration of the International Day of Happiness.
The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of July 12, 2012 proclaimed March 20, the International Day of Happiness, 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.
The World Happiness Report 2020 was released on March 20 on International Day of Happiness. The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. The first was released in April 2012 in support of a UN High level meeting on “Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm”.
The day reminds us importance of happiness and how countries are also ranked according to happiness. Let us all try to be happy and also makes other happy as it is simple and cost nothing to be happy and make others happy. Let us all be happy always and spread happiness amongst all.