The world can appear to be a fairly negative, cynical place if you take it from the front pages. If you look beneath the fold—and beyond the headlines—you'll see that our big, beautiful planet isn't just a haven for the bad news. In fact, we are currently experiencing one of the most positive periods in human history. To prove it, here are 9 completely random, completely happy facts that are guaranteed to lift your spirits to new heights. #TWN
The International Day of Happiness, a United Nations-sanctioned holiday promoting the universal right to happiness, will be celebrated for the fourth year on Sunday, March 20. It may seem like a self-evident sentiment, but ordinary people's happiness is frequently overlooked in discussions of global policy — a disparity that the holiday is intended to address.
The International Day of Happiness, founded by Illien Global CEO Jayme Illien in 2012, encourages people all over the world to pursue their own unique paths to happiness.
"Happiness may mean different things to different people, but we can all agree that working to end the conflict, poverty, and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live," said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in 2012. This year, the United Nations and Illien are encouraging people to use the hashtag #InternationalDayofHappiness to share what makes them happy on social media, so if you've been waiting to share that kitten GIF or inspirational quote; today is the day.
Of course, everyone's definition of happiness differs: Happiness may mean starting a family or curling up with a book for a few hours for some, but for others, including myself, it is a solo Justin Bieber dance party. These distinctions are part of the International Day of Happiness; without the oddities that distinguish us, the world would be pretty boring. Most importantly, while our motivations may differ, each of us deserves the freedom to pursue what makes us happy, which is what the International Day of Happiness is all about.
"Happiness is a fundamental human right and goal, and everyone on this planet should have it not just on this special day, but all year," Illien said. "Everyone speaks the same language when they smile."
So go ahead and do what makes you happy today — but if you need a pick-me-up, these nine facts will make you smile.
Those fluffballs up there are not only best friends with the entire animal kingdom, but they can also purr. Swoon all you want.
The Norwegian King's Guard knighted king penguin and honorary colonel-in-chief Nils Olaf in 2008. He is the third king penguin to bear the name since the 1970s when the original Olaf served as the King's Guard mascot and quickly rose through the ranks.
Even though cats lack vocal cords capable of forming words, research suggests that cats and their owners develop a special language to communicate with one another.
Kaninhoppning takes the cake when it comes to strange competitions. It's a Swedish tradition of rabbit show jumping, which is similar to an equestrian competition but much smaller and fluffier.