Last Sunday evening while completing my census return, a mundane but obligatory task, my mind wandered back to an article I had read in Saturday’s FT, called ‘Happy Now’? According to the article the Office for National Statistics in the UK will produce a national well-being index. There were no questions about life satisfaction on the Irish Census form.
The thing that really caught my eye in the ‘Happy Now’? article was that happiness expert Ricard Layard is co-launching a new mass movement to create a happier society. Richard Layard is not a fluffy airy-fairy thinker or cult leader. He is Lord Layard Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of economics. The new movement is called Action for Happiness and it was launched today.
I found a transcript of Richard Layard’s recent lecture to the Joseph Roundtree Foundation on the Action for Happiness’s website. Interesting stuff. He fells ‘the time is ready for radical culture change away from a culture of selfishness and materialism which fails to satisfy’. He says that the answer to the question ‘How should we live’? – is – ‘We should aim to produce the most happiness we can in the world around us and the least misery’.
The movement’s website says ‘if you want to feel good, do good’. It lists ten keys for happier living which are linked to fifty actions you can take to produce more happiness. I joined – it makes such sense and I believe it’s the zeitgeist.
Note: Further details at http://www.actionforhappiness.org