Probably you have already heard something about this: An international day to celebrate happiness. Sounds brilliant if we realize that happiness and well-being are the highest human aspirations. But, how can this be addressed in the public policies?

The celebration has its origins thanks to the Kingdom of Bhutan that considers net happiness of inhabitants more important than the net domestic product; thus, the Kingdom introduced a new measurement of national prosperity focusing on people’s well-being rather than economic productivity. Nonetheless, even if there has been growing interest in the concept “gross national happiness”, it was not until 2011 that the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal”, called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples”, and noticed that the gross domestic product (GDP) indicator “does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people in a country.”

It June 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing March 20th as International Day; all 193 United Nations member states signed the calling for happiness to be given greater priority, and it was celebrated for the first time in 2013, as a reminder of the importance of  happiness for all people in the world.

Thus, just a couple of days ago, for the fifth time after it was established, we celebrated International Day of Happiness 2018. It could seems pretty obvious, but it is also pretty evident that governments have forgotten their priorities from a humane and peoples-lens, and we also sometimes forget how important is to feel happy with what we do, in the middle of our daily rhythm of life.

A non-profit movement of people from 160 countries and its partners, called Action for Happiness, have been coordinating a campaign to celebrate this day. This year’s theme was “Share Happiness” highlighting the importance of relationships, kindness and helping each other. The website posted lot of shareable materials; posters with inspirational phrases and thoughts, action ideas for children, and the latest World Happiness Report, which was published in March 14th 2018 and this years has a special focus on immigration.

If you want to keep posted, receive all materials and share them, you can sign here. The International Day of Happiness enhance how necessary is that public policies focus on people, and also offer us a reminder of how important is to build a better world starting with ourselves, our closer connections and the people around us.   

These are some of the materials you’ll find to share!