Be Happy


A happy smile
Photo by BB via Flickr

Liz Waid and Adam Navis look at what makes people happy. What makes you happy?

Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2  

And I’m Adam Navis. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

What is happiness? Are you happy? What makes you happy? For thousands of years people all over the world have discussed these questions and expressed different opinions. We begin today’s programme with some of their thoughts.

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Aristotle was a great thinker who lived in Greece over 2,000 years ago. He said,

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‘Happiness depends on ourselves.’

Voice 1  

Thucydides also lived in Greece at about the same time. He was a military man who studied history. He said,

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‘The secret of happiness is freedom. And the secret of freedom is courage.

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William Gladstone was the prime minister of the United Kingdom in the 19th century. He said,

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‘Be happy with what you have and are. Be open-handed with both, and you will not have to hunt for happiness.’

Voice 1  

Charles Spurgeon also lived in the United Kingdom at about the same time. He was a religious speaker. And he said,

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‘It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.’

Voice 2  

Today’s Spotlight is on happiness.

Voice 1  

People all around the world think that happiness is important. In 2012 the United Nations even passed a resolution about happiness. All 193 member states agreed to the resolution. They recognised happiness as a global human goal. And they decided to make the 20th of March the International Day of Happiness.

Voice 2  

On the 20th of March 2015 the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, wrote a special message. In it he said,

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‘I wish everyone around the world a very happy International Day of Happiness! The search for happiness is a serious business. Happiness for the whole human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations. Peace, plenty, lives of respect for all - this is what we seek. We want all men, women and children to enjoy all their human rights. We want all countries to know the joy of peace. We want both people and planet to be blessed with lasting development, and to be free of the terrible effects of climate change. Let us give thanks for what makes us happy. And let us give our efforts to filling our world with happiness.’

Voice 1  

But what makes people happy? Many people think that happiness depends on being rich and beautiful. But scientists and experts have studied happiness. They know this is not correct. Good and bad things happen to everyone. Many scientists and experts believe that happiness is something we can choose. They believe that happiness is not always about what happens to you. They believe that much happiness is about how you choose to react. You can choose to react to events in your life in a positive way. Dr. Amit Sood is an expert at the Mayo Clinic in the United States. He said,

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‘Happiness is a habit or custom. Some of us are born happy. But most others have to choose it. We often, however, do not understand we have that choice. We also do not know how to exercise that choice. As a result we push happiness away. Do not let that not happen to you.’

Voice 2  

So how can we choose to be happy? What do we need to do? Experts have a lot of different advice. But they agree that gratitude or being thankful is very important. You will learn to be happy or happier by being thankful.

Voice 1  

Dr Robert Emmons is a leading expert on gratitude. He suggests many ways to become more thankful. One method he suggests is keeping a gratitude journal or book. Every day, write down things for which you are thankful. These things may be about you, events or people. He also suggests that you use the language of thankful people. You can use words like gifts, givers, blessings, blessed.

Voice 2  

What things are people most grateful for? BUPA is a health organisation in the United Kingdom. BUPA did some research about the things that make people feel happy. They found that many small and simple things make people feel good. For example, sleeping in a clean, fresh bed. Another example: many people enjoy feeling the sun on their faces. Other people feel good when someone is kind to them.  Other people like laughing so hard it hurts or smelling freshly made bread.

Voice 1  

Some people find that music makes them feel happy. Pharrell Williams writes and performs music. He said that that music brought him happiness. He even wrote a song called ‘Happy’.

[excerpt of the song "Happy"]

It is a very joyful song. People around the world have enjoyed watching it. They have watched the song more than 750 million times on YouTube. And many people have even made their own versions of it. Williams told the BBC why he wrote the song.

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‘The purpose of the song was to make everyone remember that you have a basic freedom to find happiness.’

Voice 2  

Even the United Nations knows that music can make people happy. And in 2015 the United Nations celebrated the International Day of Happiness with music. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, asked people all over the world to share a song that makes them happy.

Voice 1  

Many famous people shared songs that represented happiness and made them smile. They helped to create the world’s happiest playlist. The actor Michael Douglas chose the song ‘Zip a Dee Doo Dah’. The singer James Blunt chose the song ‘We are Young’.

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Pharrell Williams attended the United Nations event that launched the playlist. He told everyone that protecting our planet is necessary for human happiness. He also urged everyone to find out what makes them happy, 

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‘It can be something as detailed as a long term goal. Or it could be something as simple as the way I feel when my son smiles. You should know that happiness is your right. It is a reaction to something, or someone, or a time.’

Voice 1  

Are you happy? What makes you happy? What are you thankful for? Does a particular song make you happy? Tell us about it. You can leave a comment on our website. You can also comment on Facebook at facebook.com/spotlightradio. Be happy!

Voice 2  

The writer of this programme was Katy Blake. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this programme and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this programme again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This programme is called, ‘Be Happy’.

Voice 1  

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

What is one thing that makes you happy? Is it a simple thing or a complex thing?

Comments


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improve_english
said on March 21, 2016

In my opinion, Happy is having a girl to love, a work to do and a home to come back. It sounds so simple, but not easy to achieve. You have to have a suitable work for yourself. Imagine when you work in a uncomfortable environment, you can’t be happy. A girl for loving is not easily also to have, you have to choose a girl having enough your standards and she loves you too. It’s complicated. Finally, after a busy working day, you can come back home where there are your father, your mother, your brother, sister and your happiness. My thought about happy is at all.

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Johanna Castillo
said on March 21, 2016

There’s a pretty thing very important that makes me feel happy
and is the simple fact of life , can ejoy all things around me every day , I think than every day is a gitf of God a new opportunity to be better.
In regard a one song that make me feel happy lately is “A adventure for lifetime” it’s sticky ,is so funny and it has a deep lyric and to poignantly

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Zelimir
said on March 22, 2016

There is no audio file for downloading.

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KatyBlake
said on March 22, 2016

We are sorry Zelimir. We will put this right.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on March 22, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight
Subject: answer to the question above
Date: Tuesday 22, March 2016.
Brazil

Dear Liz Waid, Katy Brake, Adam Navis, and Michio Ozaki:

Once more, I want to thank you to producer more one excellent matter for us. One thing that makes me happy is to get up in the morning and see the blue sky and the bright sun. Also, I feel happy because I slept very well to do everything again such as: to read the great matters from spotligh, to work, to study English in my computer, and to continue my life. Yes, It is a simple thing. However, I think that the NURTURE, is resposible by our happiness. If a child had a good education, a resposible family, many beautiful smiles, that child would be a happy man or woman in his or her life to forever because he or she had a growth and development in a healthy way.

All the best,
Severino Ramos

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Aloha81x
said on March 24, 2016

In my opinion, what makes us happy depends on diffirent period. Now, I wanna talk about this time of my life. I’m 26 years old and I’ve been married for 2 years. At the beginning of my married life, I thought that happiness was when I could travel or ate something good. Husband and wife could talk and laugh a lot. Sometimes, my husband made something bad and I felt angry. I didn’t talk with him until he said the apologize even thought I was the wrong person. Then, we could talk and laugh again. Sadly, I did think that it was happy. And it would be consecutive until a big problem happened to my family. We had a big trouble, big misconceive, you know. He didn’t talk, didn’t sleep, and didn’t eat anything. He just seat and listen to sad music. He kept himself in the dark room alone. Meanwhile, I felt terrible. I wish I could exchange anything to brought his smile came back. Luckily, he understood finally. This happened long time ago but until now when someone ask me what is one thing that makes me happy I can answer them immediately that I will happy when my husband feels happy. It is just a simple thing but I have to do it all the rest of my life.

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Dela
said on March 24, 2016

I suppose, people can feel happiness in particular when they are healthy because then they are able to get a good interesting job just as to take care of other people around them.
I think mainly helping the others makes us really happy. Surely, there exist another different factors making us happy, for example when we see our children appear to be clever and successful at school or our pleasure during listening to beautiful music and so on…
However, first reason I have mentioned in my comment I have been regarding as the most important at all events!
Thanks Spotlight team for excellent program!

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DUNG_GEO
said on March 26, 2016

Thanks for all. I am very happy with my life. Every day I can read &listen; spotlight english. I wish everyone will be happiness.

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nhi
said on May 03, 2016

In my opinion, happy is having a family with a good husband and two healthy babies and my disease don’t be progressive more. I have a rare disease,now medicine can’t curable. But tall of these are difficult to me. I had a unlucky event before, I had lost my baby at 17 weeks gestation. It is nightmare to me.
I tried to live possitive but I can’t stop think about it. I’m sadness.

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Dela
said on May 05, 2016

I was moved deeply reading nhi’s comment, I really feel for her sadness.
I had the very serious health problems not long ago, consequently I had to undergo the surgical intervention and now I hope it may be healed completely with time.
I would like to tell nhi: ‘‘Keep the belief scientists surely discover a medicine for your disease soon. However, to stop sorrowful thinking is difficult. I have experienced it myself too. We should realize that after black days will come beautiful days without suffering. We only should never cease from keeping our belief in better future because the life is going on and any suffering isn’t endless!
I wish you all the best!
Greetings!’‘

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KatyBlake
said on May 15, 2016

nhi, like Dela, your comments touched my heart. You are having a difficult time. It is very very sad to lose a baby. And it is very difficult to live with a serious illness. Do you have a friend that you can talk with about your sadness? You are always welcome to email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). And thank you, Dela, for sharing your experience and for your beautiful message of hope.

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phuongneko
said on October 06, 2016

my happiness is playing with my pets

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ROBERTO JOSE
said on April 18, 2017

From my point of view, happiness is a satisfactory sensation you can do every moment if you want to carry out readily, for example: enjoying seeing the sun out your window, smiling to your neighbors, laughing if a kid has made a mischief thing. In short, if you love the life, you will be happy.