Be Happy! And Know It!

“The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal.” / Damcho Dorji/

On 12th July 2012 The General Assembly of the United Nations assigned 20th March as  the International Day of Happiness and since 2013 it has been celebrated all over the world. It is supported by Action for Happiness which is a non-profit movement consisting of people from 190 countries who aim to ‘create a happier and kinder world, together.’ Online coaching, talks and groups are among its numerous ideas presenting various actions you can take to lead a happier life, including the little steps presented in their Action for Happiness Calendar.

State of Happiness, Breaststrokes, postcard, Battersea Arts Centre, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from our actions. /Dalai Lama/

Sustainable Development Goals for Happiness

In 2015 the United Nations introduced the 17 Sustainable Development Goals not only to emphasize our most urgent responsibilities towards the future generations but also to make people’s lives happier with goals aimed at ending poverty, reducing inequality, protecting the planet and promoting good health and well-being as well as peace. The SDGs pyramid presents how happiness can be achieved through harmony of people, ecology, and spirituality.

SDG Pyramid to Happiness Chart, CC BY-NC-SA

Europeana Educators for Happiness

Realising the importance of experiencing delight and the state of well-being, Europeana User Group teachers have created numerous learning scenarios you can freely use in your classroom to make your students happier. Why don’t you try The Art of Happiness ideas to help students define what helps them achieve the feeling of content and bliss? There are also numerous scenarios, including Climate Change Webquest or Ecology: a toll to re-invent the future,  carrying the ecological message stating that only in harmony with our planet and nature we can lead happy lives.

The World We Want” is another learning scenario that refers to Sustainable Development Goals and suggests a class debate on Human Rights. Can one be happy when their basic human rights are not guaranteed?  Thus, Europeana educators also emphasize the significance of empathy in their classrooms, From Disability to Creativity and Home Sweet Home: a Journey of Empathy constituting some exemplary materials. The latter can be a perfect introduction to a lesson on the current situation of many Ukrainian refugees forced to migrate to seek safety. Europeana stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and Europeana educators take up the subject of war in their learning scenarios, like in The Great War Through Children’s Eyes, to call for peace. You could also check out the learning scenario entitled We Give Peace a Chance.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. /Mahatma Gandhi/

To be fully happy we need to be in harmony with other people, our planet and spiritual values. And we cannot remain indifferent when others are being deprived of their right to happiness!💙💛

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By Katarzyna Siwczak, Europeana Education Ambassador

Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Biblioteka Cyfrowa Wojewódzkiej Biblioteki Publicznej im. Hieronima Łopacińskiego w Lublinie.

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