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Posted on on April 13th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

We had this originally on April 8, 2012.


WHAT? The United States Declaration of Independence contains the famous promise of “…unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” What is happiness? What is the pursuit of happiness? What can we do to increase personal happiness and the happiness of our communities?

When? Friday, April 13, 2012 is Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday. We can thank Jefferson and Ben Franklin for winning the debate about whether to write “pursuit of property” or “pursuit of happiness”.

Where? Everywhere! Colleges, Schools, Communities, Town squares, Parks, Places of Worship, Hospitals, your workplace, anywhere!

Who? Anyone can organize events and discussions in their local area. Talk to the schools, talk to community groups, University faculty and students, anyone.

Program? Think of Pursuit of Happiness Day like the first Earth Day – a chance for the people to talk about and discuss our futures and how to build more happiness into that future.

Videos and Films
Potluck meals
Music, singing, drumming circles
Street Theater
Happiness Circles
Cooperative Games for all ages
Dance – circle dances, have fun
Running, walking or bicycling, swimming, skiing events
Guest Lectures
Yoga in the park
Poetry Slams, readings, post poems around town or campus
Art, public art, spontaneous art
Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, media
Make videos and share them
Cherish the environment – cleanups, improvements, gardens for all
Help others

For example, we imagine that universities and schools can provide programs that bring many perspectives to the pursuit of happiness. Psychology Departments can lead discussions on Positive Psychology research, Philosophy Departments can provide discussions on the meaning of happiness through the centuries, Economics Departments can discuss happiness economics, Management Departments can discuss happiness in the workplace, Literature Departments can provide readings, Environmental Studies Departments can discuss how closer relationships with nature nurtures happiness, Social Work Departments can discuss research on how volunteering improves community and individual well-being, Art Departments can assign projects which can be displaced on POH Day, science departments canand on and on.

Any individual or organization can organize events in their living rooms or big auditoriums or in Parks. Just do it! Use social media to coordinate and advertise when and where.

Let’s all make Pursuit of Happiness Day a great moment for the good and happiness of all, for the people, for the planet. Let’s choose happiness together!

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