John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

A Good Education May Not Improve Our Chances For Happiness Long Term, After All

By Lecia Bushak

An education not only leads to a better job and more money, but it pushes our minds to grow and be curious about the world. The more we know, the better off we are, right? That’s what researchers and psychologists have been touting for years — often noting that education is a predictor of mortality and health in most countries (people with college or grad school educations have been shown to live longer, healthier lives in general compared to people with a high school or no degree).
But a new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that having an education may not, contrary to popular belief, ultimately lead to greater happiness. Researchers from Warwick Medical School found that all levels of educational accomplishment were associated with mental well-being, what the authors defined as “feeling good and functioning well,” or being happy and content.
Low educational attainment has been linked to mental illness in the past, but the researchers wanted to know if high educational attainment had the opposite effect — leading to improved mental well-being. They found this wasn’t always the case.
“These findings are quite controversial because we expected to find the socioeconomic factors that are associated with mental illness would also be correlated with mental wellbeing,” Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, an author of the study, said in the press release. “So if low educational attainment was strongly associated with mental illness, high educational attainment was strongly associated with mental illness, high educational attainment would be strongly connected to mental well-being. But that is not the case.”
Past research has pointed to what is now accepted as common sense: that a better education will lead to a higher-paying job, a cushier living situation in a safer neighborhood, and the time and freedom to engage in healthy lifestyles (expensive yoga classes or healthier foods). A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 25-year-olds with some college education in 1980 could be expected to live 54.4 years more on average, compared to 25-year-olds with high school degrees were expected to live 51.6 more years on average; this is possibly because people who are more educated have more money to pay for medical treatment, but also they make more informed decisions about lifestyle and taking care of themselves.
Other studies have shown that having more education leads to improved mental health later on in life. In addition to boosting cognitive function, it paves the way for an individual to pursue things they truly enjoy — and get into a mental “flow” when doing those things, as opposed to dead-end jobs that demand long hours, little pay, and physical strain.
But this new study aims to walk on untrodden territory in announcing that this isn’t always true — and anyone can attain mental well-being, in spite of education, income, and job. Of course, nothing is ever black and white, and more research is needed to better cement the notion of who will be happier, and why.

Source: Stewart-Brown S, Samaraweera C, Taggart F, Kandala N, Stranges S. “Socioeconomic gradients and mental health: implications for public health.” British Journal of Psychology, 2015.

Iceland Fifth Happiest In Europe

Nanna Árnadóttir

Iceland and Norway are joint fifth and sixth on the list of happiest European nations, reports Vísir.
The list, compiled by Eurostat, was published on the International Day of Happiness (which is a thing apparently) and was based on a survey conducted in nearly all European countries in 2013.
The results are based on three areas in which people rated their satisfaction with life on a scale of one to ten.
The three areas include overall life satisfaction, affects, or the presence of positive feelings and absence of negative feelings, and eudaimonics, the feeling that one’s life has a meaning.
The first four places on the list are shared equally between Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden, while Iceland and Norway equally share fifth and sixth position with a score of 7.9 out of ten.
In 2013, the highest average rating of life satisfaction in Europe was to be found among the population who were in good health. In fact good health was a higher indicator of happiness than income and reflecting this on the opposite side of the spectrum, the single factor responsible for lowering people’s life satisfaction was poor health.
“Women and men were nearly equal in their happiness and younger citizens of the European Union were happier than other age groups. The unemployed and not working were generally the least happy with life (5.8) compared to people in full-time employment (7.4) or people in education or training (7.8), who have the highest scores,” reads the report.
The lowest score was 4.8 in Bulgaria, with Portugal, Hungary, Greece and Cyprus just above, on 6.2.

Happiness Wall brought to Highland

by Hector Hernandez Jr.

Highland resident Heather Ferro saw a birthday wish fulfilled on Friday, March 20, when a Live Happy Happiness Wall was brought to Highland giving Heather, her family, neighbors and other Highland residents a chance to contemplate happy living and make promises for the happiness of others.
The wall was raised for one day as a celebration of happiness as passing citizens were invited to stop at the wall, at Arroyo Verde Elementary School, to write notes about what makes them happy or how they like to make others happy. By lunchtime, the big orange wall was mostly covered in notes from people who had happened to be walking by, heard about the wall on social media or through friends. The notes read with several examples on how to spread happiness including: giving hugs, sharing food or special moments, singing and dancing, making people laugh and sharing the love of God.
When Heather was asked by her son Dominick what she would most like for her fiftieth birthday she knew she wanted a Happiness Wall brought to Highland.
With only 30 walls nationwide the Ferros had to submit an application to bring one to Highland.
"This has been more than I had hoped," Heather said. "We didn't get to advertise much yet we have had more people then we expected."
Heather chose to place the wall at Arroyo Verde because it was close to her home and its the school where her four children attended.
"This is all about giving back and spreading happiness," Dominick said. Dominick was very happy to help his mom bring the wall to his old school. Unfortunately, the Day of Happiness occurred while the school was closed for spring break.
"This wall goes to show that people want to be happy and are willing to spread happiness."
For each note placed on the wall Live Happy makes a $1 donation to Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Thirty walls raised nationwide and about 40 worldwide help make Live Happy, a nonprofit sister company to Nerium International, the largest donor to Big Brother, Big Sister with about $1 million donated last year.
The walls are raised on March 20 each year to coincide with the United Nation's International Day of Happiness.
"I wanted embrace what our company does in its mission to make people feel
better," said Heather. Heather and Dominick both work for Nerium International.



Stop acting so small. 

You are the universe 

in ecstatic motion. 


Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. - 


A man should

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”  Goethe

My life goal


Todays happiness update

Happiness is the real secret to success
by Adele Shevel

TAL Ben-Shahar, the “happiness professor”, is not as exuberant in person as one might expect from someone espousing the principles of positive psychology.
He is engaging. But it’s a relief not to get a large, flashy smile from the writer who has made The New York Times’s list of bestsellers and has been translated into 25 languages. He ran the most popular course in the history of Harvard, but he is no hyped-up self-help guru promising a future of yachts and beautiful people oozing dollars and champagne.
Ben-Shahar tells his students he is well placed to teach positive psychology because, although he is naturally pessimistic, he has become more optimistic by applying the principles he has gleaned over the years.
He was drawn to psychology in his second year as a student at Harvard. He had been doing very well academically and in sport, but he wasn’t happy. “I wasn’t depressed -but I was unhappy. This is it? Of course I went to the self-help books, but they didn’t help me,” he said.
He switched from computer literacy to philosophy and psychology, drawn to work done on wellbeing. The new subjects helped him to ask and answer the questions key to becoming happier.
By helping others to become happier, Ben-Shahar has since found, he has also been able to make them more creative, productive and innovative. This led him to become the co-founder of Potentialife, a company aimed at helping people to realise their leadership potential.
He is visiting South Africa, where Potentialife’s 11th office worldwide was launched in Johannesburg last year. He knows a fair bit about the country, having lived in Vanderbijlpark for five years between the ages of nine and 14. He was a junior Springbok squash player and can still speak a bit of Afrikaans.
His work has taken him to schools around the world -Colombia, the US, China and his native Israel. He helps schools to implement a 30-hour programme in which psychologists teach a teacher, who then teaches pupils. The outcome is reduced levels of anxiety and depression, increased wellbeing and self-confidence — and better grades.
“When I go to schools around the world and say I want to make students happier, they say: ‘That’s nice.’ When I say they will actually be more successful, their grades will improve -then that opens the door,” said Ben-Shahar.
In business, Potentialife’s programmes focus on leadership. Leadership was crucial to a company’s success, said Ben-Shahar. “It’s not about radical transformation necessarily, but if key leadership changes are made, it can lead to significant business results: increase in job satisfaction, higher levels of engagement, higher motivation.”
It’s not enough for a person at the top to take initiative or to be motivated -these qualities were needed at every level, said Ben-Shahar. You should also learn to accept negative emotions. “Only two kinds of people don’t experience negative emotions — psychopaths and the dead.”
Stress could galvanise you into action, but periods of recovery were needed, said Ben-Shahar. It’s about managing energy better — determining what depletes and what restores you. You should then focus on what restores you: working out, walking, basking in the sun, good nutrition, relationships that nurture rather than deplete, and sufficient sleep. Multitasking drains you, focusing on one thing restores energy. Other factors that make you more successful are engagement, mindfulness, and having a strong sense of purpose.
Good leaders led by example, said Ben-Shahar. And an organisation needs leaders at every level, not only at the top. Good business, community, and political leaders take responsibility rather than accord blame.
Positive psychology was not about being happy all the time, said Ben-Shahar. It was about increasing a sense of happiness little by little, which manifested in a significant improvement in leadership behaviour. You become a better team player, more engaged, more innovative, more productive and more resilient.
On average, 50% of an individual’s happiness is determined by genetics and 10% depends on external circumstances — how much money we have, the weather, where we live, said Ben-Shahar. Extreme circumstances, such as living in poverty or in a war zone, would obviously skew this. The remaining 40% of your happiness depends on the choices you make: career, romantic partners and friends. “The number one predictor of happiness is the quality time we spend with the people we love and who love us,” said Ben Shahar.
Small choices also made a big difference, he said. Do you choose to breathe deeply on a regular basis? Do you choose to be grateful for what you have? By being mindful of small choices, you become an active agent, rather than a passive victim.
Which corporations does Ben-Shahar admire? Google, for one -it understands that it needs leaders at every level. They work very hard and they have time for recovery. They introduce mindfulness exercises and focus on nutrition. They are very much about identifying purpose and forming healthy relationships.
And he admires Whole Foods, whose CEO, John Mackey, wrote the book Conscious Capitalism, which takes the best of the free market and the best of the conscientious market.
A company was no longer an assembly line, said Ben-Shahar. “Today we need more thinkers, more people to innovate and to create value, not just follow orders.”

Gambia: UN Happiness Day Observed in the Gambia

By Abdoulie Nyockeh
The United Nations Friday observed International Happiness Day in The Gambia at a ceremony held at the Bakau New Town Lower Basic School.
International UN Happiness Day is an annual event of the United Nations, which has been conducted since 2012 on 20 March of very year, to reflect on the past and to reinforce the importance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and make them part of the public policy objective for countries.
 The ceremony was attended by stakeholders from the United Nations, the headmistress of Bakau Lower Basic, Senegalese teachers, Gambian English teachers, Bakau LBS students, Wellingara LBS students, and Tallinding LBS students.
The celebration of this great day also witnessed students participating in debates on different topics, among which was the debate on whether money can buy happiness; and what makes a student to be happy in school, as the day was all part of joy and happiness for the United Nations and the children.
In her remarks, the headmistress of Bakau Lower Basic School, Haddy Njie, welcomed all the participants and the organizers from the UK for choosing her school this year as the centre for the celebration of the UN International Happiness Day.
Mrs Njie recalled that the UN International Day of Happiness was first launched in 2012 to reinforce the importance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and make them part of public policy objective for countries.
"As we commemorate this day, I would like to suggest for us to surround ourselves with happy people, laugh more and experience more positively in our lives," she stated.
Mrs Njie said Bakau New Town Lower Basic School might not be the biggest, wealthiest or greatest school in The Gambia, but it is certainly among the happiest.
She also commended the UK foundation for giving her school the opportunity to host such an important conference.
Dr Des Bowden BXC from the UK expressed gratitude to the Gambian people, and Bakau Lower Basic School for welcoming them to the Smiling Coast of Africa and for hosting the event in The Gambia.
The cerebration brought together teachers from Senegal, The Gambia and students from Tallinding, Wellingara and Bakau Lower Basic School to share and celebrate with them the United Nations International Happiness Day.
According to Dr Bowden, it was also part of their plan for the celebration, to conduct training courses for Gambia College students in Brikama next week.
He thanked their host BLBS for making the event successful.
Lamin Jarju, UNESCO ASPNET national coordinator, in his remarks, emphasised the importance of the day, adding that the day is an annual event that UN conducts every year since 2012.
He described the day as important to the United Nations to support peace and harmony in the country, as they want people to live in a peaceful environment.
Celebrating the day with the children would also contribute to their well-being, and improve their knowledge in school as they would be exposed to different skills.

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.-Omar Khayyam

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.-George Sand

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.-Mahatma Gandhi

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.-Abraham Lincoln

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.-John Barrymore

 Happiness can exist only in acceptance.-George Orwell

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Happiness… consists in giving, and in serving others. -Henry Drummond

The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.-Andre Maurois

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.-Agnes Repplier

If you want to be happy, be.-Leo Tolstoy

Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.-Robert Anthony

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.-Mark Twain

Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.-Cynthia Nelms

I think the key to life is just being a happy person, and happiness will bring you success.-Diego Val

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.- Jonathan Safran Foer

No Time To Say Goodbye: A Memoir of Life in Foster Care: Why I love Film

No Time To Say Goodbye: A Memoir of Life in Foster Care: Why I love Film: Excerpt from “No Time to Say Goodbye: Memoirs of a life in Foster Care.”  By John William Tuohy   On those days when i...

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Poetry is  the shadow  cast by our  streetlight imaginations.

Stuff I have in my writers room

Bart The Dog

                                                             I'm from Ansonia

                                                               Oscar Wilde
Mark Twain 

The Bard

Photos Mary took of me in my bathrobe (Thank you Mary) at my writers desk. Yes, my glasses are held together with wire. They work, that's what matters. And no, I'm changing them after all these years

Bart's out

In the 12 years we've had Bart, he's never been allowed on the couch. He's old now, his breed only lives to be about 13 years old, he's gone deaf and he can't see well. We went out and came home to find him sound asleep on the forbidden couch...snoring.

Get happy

"Happiness depends upon ourselves." — Aristotle

"There's nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons." — Stephen Chbosky

"Happiness is a warm puppy." — Charles M. Schulz

"Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get." — W.P. Kinsella

"The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up." — Mark Twain

"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will." — L.M. Montgomery

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." — Mahatma Gandhi

"We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same." — Anne Frank

"We're all golden sunflowers inside." — Allen Ginsberg

"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." — Groucho Marx

"The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself." — Benjamin Franklin

"Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct." — Eleanor Roosevelt

"Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The word 'happiness' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness." — Carl Jung

"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing." — William Butler Yeats

Latin American Countries Are The Happiest In The World, Gallup Poll Finds

By  Luke Villapaz

If you live in a Latin American country, chances are you’re among the happiest people in the planet. That’s according to the latest poll data released from Gallup.
For the first time in a decade, the research firm reported that every one of the top 10 countries on its Positive Experience Index are from Latin America. At the top was Paraguay, which received a top score of 89, followed by Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala, which all tied at 84. Those scores were compiled from five questions Gallup asked adults in 143 countries.
 For the first time in a decade, Latin American countries made up the entire top ten of Gallup's 2014 Positive Experience Index.  Gallup
Overall, 70 percent of respondents said they experienced enjoyment, smiled or laughed, felt well-rested and said they were treated with respect. The index score for the world in 2014 was 71, and Gallup reported that the composite has "remained remarkably consistent through the years."
The data, released Friday in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness, reveals which countries have the highest and lowest percentages of people that experience daily positive emotions.
While people in Latin American countries were most likely to experience positive emotions, the least happy people were, not surprisingly, from war-torn countries and those engaged in conflict such as Afghanistan and Sudan. Sudan, which recently split into two countries -- Sudan and South Sudan -- had the lowest score of all the countries surveyed, with 47. However, Gallup notes that the country with the lowest score last year, Syria, is absent this year because the report was issued before data from the country was finalized.

 War-torn and conflict countries were most likely to rank lowest on Gallup's Positive Experience Index  Gallup

Regionally, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region not only ranked the lowest in positive emotions with a score of 59, but it’s also the highest reporting region of negative emotions.

The results recorded by Gallup are based on 2014 phone and in-person interviews with 1,000 adults classified as age 15 and older. At the global level, the margin of error is less than one percent, according to Gallup. However, taken by individual country, each had varying degrees of margin of error, some as low as 2.1 percent, others as high as 5.3 percent.

Louis L’amour

“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.”   



 All you need is passion. If you have a passion for something, you’ll create the talent. - 

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”  

Larry L. King

 “The best kind of writing, and the biggest thrill in writing,
 is to suddenly read a line from your typewriter that you didn’t know was in you.”   

Art for the Blog of It: Leonardo da Vinci........................

Art for the Blog of It: Leonardo da Vinci........................: Learn how to see . Realize that everything connects to everything else.

I'm left handed

Researchers postulate that the proportion of left-handers has remained constant for over 30,000 years.

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: Charles Bukowski

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: Charles Bukowski:   “You have to die a few times before you can really live.”

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: ― Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers a...

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: ― Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers a...: great writers are indecent people they live unfairly saving the best part for paper. good human beings save the world so that ba...

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: Elise Cowen

The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation: Elise Cowen: Elise Cowen and Allen Ginsberg Born to a middle class Jewish family in Washington Heights, New York, Elise Cowen wrote poetry fro...

Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism,..............

“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the ‘good life’, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.” Hunter S. Thompson

Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write

“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose...

...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it.  Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.”

                                                                                                  ― Rainer Maria Rilke