International Happiness Day on Thursday reminded people around the world to choose happiness and help others pursue it.
The day, March 20, also coincided with the first official day of spring.
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The United Nations General Assembly established the observance June 28, 2012, as a way of "recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives," a statement says
Amid countless stories of pain and suffering around the world, including the unrest in Ukraine and the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, International Happiness Day is meant as a reminder that people shouldn't ignore the good things.
"Happiness may have different meanings for different people," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message posted to the United Nations website
. "But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty, and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live."
To help the cause, musician Pharrell Williams, whose song "Happy" has spread the message worldwide, launched a website, 24HoursOfHappiness.com
. Its goal is raise money "to create a happier world for people everywhere." Donations go to the U.N.'s Humanitarian Efforts. The site also features videos and pictures of people all around the globe dancing and generally being happy.
Twitter was happy to wish everyone a happy Happiness Day. Well, except Grumpy Cat.
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