Friday, July 19, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Estonia's Bank of Happiness

Yesterday, I heard a story on NPR that screamed Feel Good Friday. Well, given that it was NPR it was more of a polite assertion rather than a scream.

Estonia is near the top.
It was about the Bank of Happiness, founded five years ago in the Estonian capital Tallinn. The great news is that you don't have to live in Estonia to participate. In fact, people connecting through this forum live in countries around the world.

In the words of their founder, Airi Kivi, "We were inspired by the clear understanding that there is a gap in the society between humane caring and economic well-being. We were then and are today convinced that the formula of happiness lies in noticing others. We feel that people want to help others, but often don't know how. On the other hand, we know that there are people who need help in solving their daily problems but don't know whom to address. This led to the idea to bring these two parties together and create a website for it.

Founder, Airi Kivi
The name "The Bank of Happiness" gave the structure to the idea. In our eyes, all people can be the clients of the Bank. Everyone could think a little and find something that he or she can do well or is fond of doing. We believe that by dedicating one's personal time it is possible to experience positive emotions. It can be advice on a computer issue, lawn mowing or teaching German. In the Bank of Happiness every good deed is worth one Star of Gratitude or a friendly smile!"

Whether or not you ever participate in the Bank of Happiness, you can certainly take inspiration from their values and try to apply them to your daily activities.

  • We notice others around us.
  • We believe that every person has something to give.
  • We know that every person is valuable and can do good.
  • We acknowledge and respect all who contribute to other people's well-being.
  • We care about each other and about the world around us.
  • We give special attention to the weak ones and help them.
  • We take part in life actively and encounter other people.
  • We have an open heart and positive thinking.
  • We create and develop the gratitude economy.
  • We smile and we are happy.

You can click on the link to listen to the original NPR story and stay connected with them by liking their Facebook page!

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