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'If you're happy and you know it,
share your happy thought.
If not, use this list
to help you through...'
So began the Happiness Board. It was October of my second year at Michigan State (1993), and things were not going particularly well on the floor in Mason Hall. Many people were upset and unhappy, and frustration was high. So, one day I contact-papered three sheets of dot-matrix printer paper on the outside of my door, with the above quote at the top of the sheets. It was an idea with roots as much in 'Have a penny, give one, need a penny, take one,' as in 'If you're happy and you know it,' . . . you know. Almost as skeptical as some of my friends as to how this would be received, I was pleasantly surprised when people started putting up thoughts which made them happy. When the board filled up, I simply copied the list down on my computer, printed up the list, put the printed list up on my door, and erased the board to begin anew.
That first year, more than 600 happy thoughts made it up on my door. The following year, the board came back due to popular demand, and we ended the year with 1,096 happy thoughts! The next year -- my last at Michigan State -- the 3rd Edition of the Happiness Board was posted ('Third time pays for all,' as Bilbo Baggins used to say), and we received 1,127 happy thoughts by the end of the year!
So here they are -- three years worth of happy thoughts. Be aware that some of the happy thoughts are inside jokes, and will only be understood by the people on the floor. In fact, some of the happy thoughts I still don't know the story behind! But feel free to look through them, as well as the Internet Happiness Board, which slowly continues to grow as people e-mail me their happy thoughts. Would you like to add one of your own? . . .
Plus -- this site was featured an article by George Plimpton in Forbes ASAP in December of 2001!