BRINGING HAPPINESS AND CALM TO LA VILLE LUMIÈRE — THE CITY OF LIGHTS
Paris—the City of Lights—is famous for many reasons, amongst them the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre-Dame Cathedral, to name a few. However, in 2015, Paris made international headlines for another, most unsettling reason. In January, gunmen attacked the Paris offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, leaving 12 dead. In November, a terrorist attack killed some 130 people and wounded hundreds more.
By 2015, The Way to Happiness Paris chapter had distributed 175,000 copies of the booklet and reached all 831 shops in the Saint-Denis commune—the city’s poorest district—with booklets for their customers. But the attacks were a wake-up call. The team expanded its reach into the greater Paris region, the largest urban area in the European Union.
They launched a “Peace and Tolerance” campaign and hit the streets with a custom cover TWTH in Clichy and Saint-Ouen in the north of Paris. They traveled northwest to Bobigny, placing TWTH in mailboxes, and to the west in Belleville, known for its rowdy night life. Booklets went into the hands of citizens and to shop managers for their customers. To help the effort, 170 taxis took stacks of booklets to give to their passengers.
Near the end of 2017, the commander of the Paris police requested the TWTH team focus on the northern region, an area of high concern due to drug trafficking and its attendant crime. They expanded the scope of their campaign further still, distributing booklets at the Épinay-Villetaneuse train station in north Saint-Denis, in Stalingrad Square in northeast Paris and Place de l’Opéra in north-central Paris. The team saw the power of The Way to Happiness to turn lives around. One young man who had been given the booklet a month prior in Porte de Paris station sought out the volunteers to share with them that he had taken to heart precepts 13, “Do Not Steal,” and 16, “Be Industrious,” and now had a job and had stopped stealing. To demonstrate precept 12, “Safeguard and Improve Your Environment,” the team took up shovels, gloves and trash bags and began cleanups in sore spots around the city. In Porte de la Chapelle, where migrants live in makeshift shelters, the team was soon joined by the migrants who put on gloves, armed themselves with trash bags and pitched in to clean up their space with pride on their faces.
Indeed, The Way to Happiness is brightening up the City of Lights with a moral resurgence.
World Environment Day
Every year in June, we celebrate World Environment Day.
The Way to Happiness precept 12, “Safeguard and Improve Your Environment,” states: “There are many things one can do to help take care of the planet. They begin with the idea that one should. They progress with suggesting to others they should. Man has gotten up to the potential of destroying the planet. He must be pushed on up to the capability and actions of saving it. It is, after all, what we’re standing on.”
We invite you to don your TWTH T-shirt and create your own event or join one of our chapters this month. Then take action to protect and improve our environment. There are plenty of things you can do to demonstrate precept 12, from leading cleanups in public areas, to planting trees, or from hosting a showing of The Way to Happiness book-on-film or holding a symposium with environmental specialists.
Write to us and let us know your plans!
HELP RESTORE TRUST
The Way to Happiness Foundation International works to reverse the moral decay of society by restoring trust and honesty through widespread distribution of the 21 precepts. Donations support production and distribution of The Way to Happiness booklet and curriculum material.