Back in October I wrote a little post entitled “reasons to be cheerful – part 1” and I talked about how life gets in the way sometimes.

 Today I have been reading about the launch of Action for Happiness. A movement that aims to boost joy in the world by being kind to others. This is not a new concept to me. Many years ago I read about Danny Wallace and his movement known as Join Me. The basic premise of that movement was that members had to pledge to do one random act of kindness every Friday. It could be whatever the person felt to be a kindness and also it could be for strangers or people they knew. It could be done anonymously or blatantly obviously. I quite liked this idea so I jumped on the bandwagon and started to generate my own little field of happiness around me. I didn’t restrict it to a Friday I would just do things when I felt like it. Some of my deeds included

  • buying the staff in the building society a box of chocolates on the day that their computers were down and everybody in the queue in front of me shouted at them. 
  • taking the homeless person for a cup of tea in the cafe rather than putting money in their cup 
  • sending my Mum flowers, just because
  • bringing some shopping home for the lady across the road because she had the flu. 
Now I have to admit that I truly believe that I, quite unintentionally,got much more from those random acts of kindness than the people I did it for .  I got:- 
  • better customer service than I had ever had in a bank or building society from that day on 
  • insight into how lucky I was and how few problems I truly had 
  • a happy Mum 
  • a new friend in the neighbour 
It made me truly happy to do things for people, it made me feel worthwhile and it helped  me to understand that I needed a purpose in life at a time when I was very down and lonely. 
Do I believe in giving hugs, absolutely
Do I believe that hugs are all it takes to cheer somebody up, yes 
Do I believe that hugs make people happy, not at all. 
It takes a lot more that an act of kindness and a hug to make somebody happy. It takes a sense of belonging, a reason to get up in the morning, a purpose in life but most importantly a connection to other people to even start to help somebody find a glimmer of happiness. 
I do wish the Action for Happiness movement success in their endeavours but I worry and fear that it might just be another jump on the bandwagon fad. I hope I am proved wrong