Today is International Day of Happiness. Countless people over the years have tried to quantify what is needed to make people happy. We all know that money doesn't buy you happiness (although, of course it helps) but fundamentally the most important thing to bring happiness to people is a connection to others.
I think that happiness breeds happiness too. I get more pleasure out of doing something nice for another person than doing something nice for myself. Reaching out and connecting with another human being, whether a smile, a conversation or and action makes me happier than being left in my own company. Sadly our lifestyles now almost encourage an isolation, everything is done on line, virtual conversations and story telling, even books are becoming phased out in favour of a sterile electronic object.
Perhaps it's time today, to change that. It's rather apt that my Step-Mum sent me a book that a dear friend of her's has worked had to put together in aid of The Christie Hospital in Manchester. Tell-Tales is a collection of stories written by women, each story is anonymous and tell of the challenges of day to day living. There's a complete rainbow of styles and subjects, but each is written as if the author is telling you the story over a coffee, you get a real sense of connection with each author.
Sally Clegg & Sharon Goddard the joint editors, write a wonderful introduction explaining the development of the book. I especially love the following lines;
"Everyone has a voice, but not everyone has the courage to use it, to tell their tales with honesty and conviction...We hope to entertain you and to make you reflect on your own lives and experiences as you share ours"
A group of women got together and told stories that made them happy. They decided to support and encourage each other to write stories for a book that would make other people happy. The money raised would touch the lives of countless people living with cancer, to help bring a little happiness into their lives. Each and every person that buys the book will feel happiness through connecting with the authors and the people that it will help. One simple act can reach out, touch and impact so many people. I think this book may have shown me how easy it is to find happiness.
Tell-Tales is being launched at Marple Library on the 21st March at 2pm, when it will be on sale for £5.00. After the launch it will be available in local outlets in Stockport, Marple, Marple Bridge, New Mills and High Lane for £7.99. You can also buy it directly from the publishers Troubador using this link.
This week there can only be one Word of the Week - Happiness, I hope you all find it this weekend.