There is a program at my granddaughter’s school called Learning Buddies . The students in the grade 6 classes are paired with Junior Kindergarten children. They do a variety of activities which might include reading, art, going outdoors for example. The 11 year olds and the 4year olds seem to love this program and the connections that are made.
Recently I was invited to do a project on happiness with the Learning Buddies. We discussed many aspects of happiness such as what makes them happy, what they think makes friends, family happy, what they can do to spread happiness. Each student drew pictures of what happiness might look like. Their art work along with neon colored post-its that had phrases written such as ‘Be Kind, Smile, Good Friends, etc.’ were stuck onto a massive background. The end result was to be a happiness wall that would be shared with the rest of the school.
One aspect of our conversations that seemed to spark the children was my suggestion that each of them was a Happiness Super Hero. That notion seemed to inspire some unique happiness drawings.
That was the Readers Digest version of the project. It got me thinking about happiness on a much broader scale. What if all of us took on the mantle of being a Happiness Super Hero?. Really. Why not? What a difference it could make in our currently troubled world. The cool part is that we would not need some flashy body suit or a cape or need to leap tall buildings in a single bound. It’s those small gestures a smile, offering a seat to someone on public transit, simple acts of kindness. You are aware of all the possibilities
Here’s a fascinating concept to ponder. From the book Connected by Nicholas A. Christakis & James Fowler - The Three Degrees of Influence Rule has interesting implications on happiness. Being connected to a happy friend makes you 15 percent more likely to be happy yourself, while being connected at three degrees of separation makes you 6 percent more likely.
Early in the book the authors comment on the six degrees of separation in relation to their Three Degrees rule: “If we are connected to everyone else by six degrees and we can influence them up to three degrees, then one way to think about ourselves is that each of us can reach about halfway to everyone else on the planet.” If you think that you alone couldn’t possibly make a difference, think again. The science has just shown that what each one of us does, matters enormously. Let’s spread some happiness!
Comments are welcomed.