Happy squares

During our wagon meeting at the end of May in Vilnius, we discussed a lot about the definition and the concepts of happiness. One major statement was, that better to give than to take, while on the other hand there was a feeling, that it is very difficult to transport happiness to strangers.We agreed to conduct both an experiment and a survey on what makes people happy. We set out to approach people in Vilnius (complete strangers) and find out their main sources of happiness.For this purpose, we chose a square close to a lively street, and started to attract passers by with music and soap bubbles all over the place. Armed with coloured chalk, we asked people to join us in writing and drawing on the pavement, what makes us happy.At first, people were a bit reluctant to add something to our pavement art, but soon some families with children grabbed the chalks and then others joined in.Those, who had the time and volunteered were also subject to the special 'marshmallow survey' - rating on a scale of 1-10 people should say how happy they were at the moment (and about what). Then they would get their 'happiness points' in the form of marshmallows and should pose with them for a picture.The sunny weather on that day was of course helpful to produce a happy atmosphere about the place, and people weren't in a hurry to leave. Some just watched, but others very actively wrote and drew and joined discussions about our topic. By afternoon, we had filled the whole square with drawings and happy statements. We accumulated numerous nationalities, children, youngsters, adults and seniors, citizens and tourists, brides and nuns - to name just a few. When we left the square, people were still adding to our street art, and when we returned late in the evening, passers by would stop and read. There is no estimate on how many smiles we produced that day, but I suppose they were many.

Lights of Happiness

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