SIGBI Programme Director’s Blog December 2019

This is my last blog of 2019…so what now?

‘What everyone wants from life is continuous and genuine happiness’
Spinoza

‘Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence’
Aristotle

But, what is happiness? A psychologist who works in the field of positive psychology defines it as “Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment or positive wellbeing, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful and worthwhile.” (Sonya Lyobomirsky)

Research has shown that, compared to unhappy people, happy people are:

  • more confident;
  • more energetic
  • more productive
  • more creative
  • more friendly
  • more helpful
  • more loving
  • more forgiving
  • more popular
  • kinder to others.

Happy people also:

  • look forward to things more;
  • are physically healthier;
  • are psychologically healthier;
  • are more resilient to stress;

…   And they live longer …

 

This seems, to me, to be apposite for all Soroptimists. Fellowship, friendship, fun and, of course, Programme Action, should help us to reach towards this aspiration. Moving from our focus areas to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should help us to find appropriate ways of helping those we seek to help move towards ‘nirvana’. It should also help us as individuals. A psychologist I heard speak at a recent U3A (University of the Third Age) meeting suggested we all think about 3 things that have made us happy each day. Well, I have been trying to do this – and it works, for me. Enjoying a meal out with family and friends, reading your Programme Focus Report Forms – particularly the outcomes of your efforts – and watching the birds in my garden are three regulars. What would work for you?

My suggestions for those we seek to help would be:

  1. Knowing that those who offer help, do so on the basis of asking me what I need and helping me reach my aspirations through using all available high quality evidence;
  2. Achieving this through high quality education, empowerment and enablement by raising awareness, advocacy and action;
  3. Feeling valued and able to care for my family and myself and living in peace and security, whether at home, in the community, nationwide or world wide.

For ourselves:

  1. A feeling of togetherness, all having the same aims in mind;
  2. Designing and implementing projects which will improve the lives of others;
  3. Seeing how well we have done in helping others achieve happiness.

A tall order? Not if we all work together in partnership, in friendship and understanding, building on ‘Think on it…’ and implementing ‘We stand up for women’. Increasing your own happiness will increase happiness for…

  • At 1 degree – your family;
  • At 2 degrees – the friends you meet;
  • At 3 degrees – the family members of the friends you meet;
  • At 4 degrees – the neighbours of the family members of the friends you meet…..

A Happy and successful New Year to all.

Kay Richmond
Programme Director

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