A profound shift in attitudes is underway all over the world as we collectively recognize that ‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing economies.
March 20th has been established as the annual International Day of Happiness and all 193 United Nations member states have adopted a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority. The day was established to promote and preserve the principles, values, and articles of United Nations resolution 66/281.
As mothers, and children of mothers, we recognize the need for balance and internal peace. To celebrate, we asked a group of our Global Moms their thoughts on the progress being made for women and children around the world in health, education, international law and work-life balance. We also asked what’s most important when it comes to motherhood and parenting issues. Here’s what they had to say.
And as a mother, I’m doing my best to educate my daughter on what she can do herself to make a difference in the lives of women and girls.
“As a mother of a ten-year old daughter and a social good blogger, I’ve become aware of all the vast inequities in the world for women and girls. Women and girls are more likely to be poor, unable to go to school, be married young and not have the same opportunities as boys and men. However, the exciting news is this reality is rapidly changing. More women and girls are being empowered with education, training, and access to healthcare, mobile money, micro financing and the internet. The future is looking much brighter for women and girls than it did just a decade ago. And as a mother, I’m doing my best to educate my daughter on what she can do herself to make a difference in the lives of women and girls. I hope she will follow in my footsteps and be a strong advocate for women’s rights and making a difference no matter how big or small.” – Nicole Melancon, Third Eye Mom
Seeing them grow to become helpful citizens makes me happy.
“When I heard about Shot@Life and learned that children die from dehydration and malnourishment caused by the Rotavirus, I knew I had to act. I love nothing more than to talk about diarrhea; a mild inconvenience in the US that is devastating in other countries. My oldest became sick when he was a young toddler and was hospitalized due to dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea. As I watched him recover and flourish, thanks to access to healthcare, medicine and vaccinations, it was clear to me that adequate healthcare is a luxury for which I am grateful. I believe no mother should have to bury a child due to inadequate health care which is why I lend my voice in supporting global vaccination programs and other mother and child programs. My children know the importance and value of helping others; I’ve witnessed their compassion in the causes and issues that they support as they make their way in the world. Seeing them grow to become helpful citizens makes me happy.” – Pam Margolis, An Unconventional Librarian
As a mother, the ability to raise my two kids to be active, global citizens brings me joy.
“As a mother, the ability to raise my two kids to be active, global citizens brings me joy. My eight-year-old in particular has become acutely interested in government processes. Through my volunteer work with local and global advocacy programs, she is beginning to better recognize how issues in our own city ripple across the country and internationally. Her desire to learn more about disparities around the world and how strong, determined women can impact change, makes me proud every day. Because I believe that engaged citizenship and community service are fundamental values at our family’s foundation, watching my children embrace that makes me incredibly happy.” – Tracy Jensen, Inspiration of One
I am grateful for social media that lets us connect with other advocates and amplify our voices
“It makes me happy to know that we as individuals — and as a family — are raising awareness for women and children’s wellness around the world. I am grateful for social media that lets us connect with other advocates and amplify our voices. With my daughter’s first grade scout troop, we recently made bookmarks with messages the girls’ came up with supporting equal education for girls worldwide. We shared the bookmarks — and donated books — to a “Little Free Library” in our community for double the impact, supporting neighbors in our community while also advancing #LetGirlsLearn. I am proud to be raising the next generation of activists!” – Colleen Levine, FoodieTots.com
I believe strongly that when one person succeeds, we all succeed.
“I believe strongly that when one person succeeds, we all succeed. It thrills me that more women and children have access to better healthcare and education. I’m happy that moms who are just like me, who want the best for their children, are better able to meet their needs. It gives me hope for our future, and for the future of my children. I want to live in a world where we believe in being ‘our sister’s keeper’…where love and kindness and shared empathy prevails. I am encouraged by the strength of women across the globe. It helps me to tap into my own strength and continue working to be the best mother I can be.” – Maria Smith, Mamalicious Maria
We must do this for ourselves, our families and our communities. We need each other now more than we ever have.
“I think my happiest times are when I share moments of real conversation and laughter with my mother. A brilliant, hardworking and courageous women as she is. These moments with her in between our busy lives gives me strength and teaches me that true happiness lies in human connection. When we are happy, it seems that all is right in the world. I think it is such an important time in in our lives right now to make happiness a priority, aside from all the material things; to truly connect one another and give each other hope; to empower one another and to be a beacon of light. We must do this for ourselves, our families and our communities. We need each other now more than we ever have.” – Elya Reganyan, Style to My Street
By being a very small part of it for one girl, we were the beneficiaries of a universal power: the power of building one another up.
“When I think about the progress that has been made toward helping women and children around the world lead healthier, happier lives, I focus on is how much of a difference education can make. When my daughter and I met Estela, a young girl in Guatemala who we sponsor through a nonprofit organization, we learned how much of a difference education can make for her. Six years after we met her, she reports she is doing well in school and wants to become a doctor. Helping girls worldwide have access to school elevates the wellbeing of their communities in general, protects them from human trafficking, and increases their likelihood of resisting issues like sexually transmitted diseases. In short: it gives them power. By being a very small part of it for one girl, we were the beneficiaries of a universal power: the power of building one another up.” – Paula Kiger, Big Green Pen
Take Action Challenge
- How do you find happiness? Everyone’s path to happiness is different. Check out 10 Keys to Happier Living that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling.
- The United Nations invites each person of any age, plus every classroom, business and government to celebrate the International Day of Happiness using hashtag #SmallSmurfsBigGoals.