Dear Kid,

Today is the International Day of Happiness. It’s also the first day of spring. As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, happiness is a choice and (to a large extent) you control your own happiness.

It’s not always a choice in all corners of the world. The United Nations has recognized (by using a lot of words) that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal and formally introduced the International Day of Happiness.

The intent of the International Day of Happiness is not to be falsely cheerful or to put smiley faces on everything you do or to insist that all your friends skip class to go to a comedy club.

The International Day of Happiness is about celebrating and sharing the Happy that exists in your life and recognizing that everyone, everywhere is entitled to be happy. Not always, not every minute of every day–life isn’t like that–but enough to balance out the inevitable unhappy times.

10 Ways to Share the Happy

1. Smile. It costs nothing. And smiles are contagious.

2. Open a door for someone. A little kindness goes a long way.

3. Buy coffee for the person in line behind you. Little surprises can change a person’s day.

4. Compliment someone.

5. Thank a professor for their time and preparation for class.

6. Offer to clear someone’s tray in the cafeteria.

7. Make popcorn for someone in your dorm you only ‘sort of’ know.

8. Do a chore your roommate hates to do when it’s not your turn.

9. Call your mother.

10. Take a few minutes to relax, play guitar, sit outside for a few minutes, just do something to make yourself happy.

Stop, take a breath of spring air, drink in the new season, and find reasons to share some happy.

Love, Mom