The United Nations, recognizing "the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world," proclaimed March 20 as an official day to honor those worthy pursuits.
No argument here ― but happiness is as important as it is elusive. While granting long-term happiness is well beyond the means of a humble blog (we leave that to the all-knowing self-help industry), we do want to do our part to brighten your day.
Below, eight things we think will make you smile. No snark. no sarcasm, no judging from atop Mt. Hater. Just good stuff.
1. Boo, the dog. Much has been said of the so-called world's cutest dog. The wee Pomeranian's title isn't official, but it might as well be. We won't add to the accolades except to say that the pooch is crazy-adorable. Also great ― Duncan Lou.
2. Batkid. When the city of San Francisco helped 5-year-old cancer patient Miles Scott live out his dream of fighting crime alongside the Dark Knight, the Web went wild in the best way possible. The excitement wasn't just for Batkid, but for the city's spirit of coming together to help a sick kid have a great day. Watch the best parts of his day.
3. Good Samaritans (Part 1). Polly McCourt was having a baby and she couldn't wait to get to the hospital. Like, she really couldn't wait. So, the New Yorker had her baby girl on a New York sidewalk, with her partner by her side. Isabel Williams happened to be nearby and offered up her coat to the newborn. The new parents returned the favor by naming their child Ila Isabelle McCourt in honor of the good Samaritan. Read more about the amazing act of kindness.
4. Good Samaritans (Part 2). Dropping $50 on gasoline isn't the idea of a good time for many people. A group of young men helped make drivers' trips to the pump a lot less painful by paying for strangers' gas. Their hope: inspire others to go out and make the world a little nicer. Watch the full video report.
5. Surprise reunions. The Web is full of these (the more the merrier), but this one is particularly sweet. Captain Hyrum Bronson returned from his tour in Afghanistan three weeks early and decided to surprise his wife and two children. Wife Bethany's priceless reaction ("Are you freaking kidding me?") was caught on video by a friend in on the ruse.
6. Making the best of a cold situation. This winter's polar vortex left many with cabin fever. What better way to solve the problem than to build a rainbow igloo? A New Jersey family created a multicolored igloo from dyed bricks of ice. An inexpensive and beautiful way to keep the kids (and the whole Web) happy on a blustery winter's day. Get all of the joyful details.
7. Advice isn't hard to come by. Good advice is another story. Good advice that's actually fun to follow? Impossible! Or is it? When it comes to how to live a long life, there is no better authority than Misao Okawa, the oldest person on the planet. The 116-year-old woman told the Telegraph her secret: plenty of sleep and plenty of sushi. Sounds good to us.
8. They're happy and they know it. Singing the aptly titled hit song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams in honor of International Day of Happiness, these 40-plus pint-size performers put on a show complete with in-step dance maneuvers.
9. Still not happy? Tomorrow is Friday. And because we want you to have a nice time, we're not even going to mention that Rebecca Black song.
Got something on the Web that helps you get happy? Leave a comment below.
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).
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- The United Nations