Can Happiness Unite More Than Differences Divide?
My inner news junkie binges on the Sunday morning political shows that rarely discuss positive news, but, even a happy girl needs to stay informed. One morning, Reliable Sources interviewed Chris Arnade, Wall Streeter-turned-reporter, now documenting addiction and poverty on a road trip. Although politics wasn’t the purpose of his trip, his experience helped him understand America’s political divide.
The last question Brian Stelter asked was, “Do you feel more hopeful about the country or less?” Chris responded, “Less.” There was a little more chitchat before the segment ended with him saying, “I don’t see good things ahead.”
Those last words caused my heart to skip a beat and my happiness antenna to go up. Optimism is one of our 31 Types of Happiness, and it is also one of the founding pillars of America. Most—but sadly not all—of our descendants immigrated here because they hoped (another type of happiness) America would provide them and their families with a better life.
Pain and Happiness Unite People Regardless Of Their Differences
When I founded the Society, I did so in part, because I believed that the feelings of pain and happiness unite people regardless of differences. I still emphatically believe that. It’s easy to dislike someone who we don’t know when they are only an email address or a Twitter handle. It’s almost impossible to dislike someone who we bond with over uniting experiences.
We all feel a common ache when a love breaks our heart, someone close to us dies or when we learn of a horrific event like an accident, natural disaster, or senseless act of violence. We all feel a common euphoria when we laugh with a best friend, fall in love or become a parent. These moments unite everyone regardless of the size of their bank account, their job title or their age.
The world is full of cultural and personal differences: All we have to do to see that is look at our Facebook feed, watch the news or have a conversation with friend, parent or neighbor. Some differences we’ll never fully understand, but we don’t have to understand them — we only have to learn to be respectful of them. Once we do that, the differences make the world an intriguing place that we can explore with wonder and amazement. While our differences will always make us unique, they don’t need to create separation from our common humanity.
As that Chris Arnade interview played in my mind over and over, I kept thinking, “What can I do to make a difference?” Then it occurred to me: if happiness unites, then the Secret Society of Happy People needs to focus on reminding everyone that #HappinessUnites.
I want to live in a world where more people are united by our similarities than are divided by our differences – don’t you?
Some happy experiences are universal, some are tribal and some are personal. But no matter what creates our happiness, that profound happy feeling is similar and unifying.
Think about it: When you feel happy, isn’t the ordinary chaos of life easier to deal with?
Just because happiness unites doesn’t mean that happiness will get rid of the real problems facing our world. But who better to solve these problems than people who are optimistic that they can be solved?
Starting now, let’s remind the world that happiness has the power to unite more people than are divided by differences. Let’s remind the world by filling our social media pages with the experiences that create common smiles because #HappinessUnites! We even have some supplies so you can make your own #HappinessUnites sign.