A Certain Kind of Happy: Perspective and What It Means To Be Alive

Last year was a spectacular meltdown of humanity on a variety of fronts – violence, politics, media fascination with the negative aspects of life. Despite personal optimism for a new start in 2013, we are barely three weeks in and the same cycle continues. I know that the negative does not represent the vast majority of the people on the planet but somehow we tend to get sucked into it via many of our news sources. Some might thrown in the token ‘feel good story’ at the end of a broadcast or ‘below the fold’ of a news blog, but so much psychic damage has been done by that time, that it just rolls off.

We may be a tiny little blog in a vast sea of information, but if you’ve landed on this page, welcome to a new series we are calling A Certain Kind of Happy. Here you’ll find a post at least once a week throughout 2013 that shares an event, an organization, an idea in action that is an example of the kindness, creativity and humanity that makes us feel that sense of hope, optimism and wonder that allows 7 billion of us to inhabit this planet.

One Day On Earth is a movie and a movement to document a single day on earth in every country on the planet. It started with 10.10.10 which is widely available on video now so I hope you can find the time to be transported around the world and for the hour and forty five minutes it takes, and to get out of your own skin and into someone else’s. This is the kind of experience which involve the quiet times that makes me take a deep breath and not care what the politicians say or whether or not celebrities had a wardrobe malfunction – I just don’t give a shit about that kind of information.

I invite you to suspend judgment on what’s right or wrong, rich or poor, and simply imagine if you were any of these people. After all, whether it’s karma or some other truth, we’ve ended up in our own skins as some sort of universal lottery…

As I was watching the movie these are some of the thoughts that floated across my mind: • Children everywhere act the same – why don’t adults? • There are so many of us – why do we let the others rule our imagination, our media, or our life? Aren’t we strong enough to stand up as a creative community and turn the tables? • So many people with true skill making beautiful things • Happy = reconnecting with what’s real in the world • There’s a great quote in the movie by a woman who finds her peace in an icy cold pool “you feel the world is full of schmucks and you think I don’t know if I can stand it anymore and then you come down to the Icebergs Club and your faith in humanity is restored” What do you do in your life that makes you feel that way? Where’s your favorite place on earth? • Everything depends on everything • I have a new appreciation for street performers and will give in the future to the acrobats and car wash jockeys in the intersections – “if we don’t use our hand and our feet, we don’t eat” • While I rail at technology some days, watching movies like this I can’t believe how wonderful it is to see things around the world that we would never otherwise see • Why are we so cruel to not just humans, but wildlife as well? • As I watch this kind of movie, I feel happiness, wonder, joy, that I live in this time, this place

Here’s the trailer for the movie:

I know you’ll probably look at the facts below and think “has she lost her mind? This makes her happy??”. No, not all these things – certainly some are pretty brutal. But to me, a certain kind of happy = disengaging from all that is around you and seeing yourself as a spec on the planet. It’s not all about me. It’s what it means to be alive. And that, is what re-awakes the happy in me.

Some random facts – on that day – 10.10.10 – the following occurred: • 154,000 people died • 90,000 people exceeded their life expectancy • 260,000 met their future spouse • 130,000 couples were married • average human heart beat 100,000 times • there were 1,300 known styles of music • 8 million species on earth • 4 trillion dollars in circulation • 172 billion dollars were spent • 3.5 million pounds of waste were produced • 1.3 billion do not have access to clean water • 45% of the world lives on less than $2.50 a day • 10 million people were held in incarceration • the average person had 60,000 ideas (really?!? I feel like a slacker based on output) • 45 countries were involved in military conflict

One Day on Earth had the same project on 11.11.11 and most recently on 12.12.12 - for more information you can click here.