Happiness and New Hope for South Africans

70,000 copies of The Way to Happiness booklets create an incident-free and happy South African presidential inauguration.
Happy South Africans (top) at the presidential inauguration with their copies of TWTH; (above) volunteers get ready to hand out booklets and the police join in.

At his inauguration on May 25, 2019, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to tackle corruption and rejuvenate the country’s struggling economy. To help him accomplish his goals and ensure a peaceful celebration, volunteers and police officers handed out some 70,000 copies of The Way to Happiness to those flooding into Pretoria to be part of this historic occasion.

The theme of the inauguration was, “Together celebrating democracy: renewal and growth for a better South Africa.” As the event was being held in a large public venue for the first time—in the Loftus Versfeld Stadium instead of the usual Union Buildings—the concern for maintaining peace was heightened. Aware of the calm The Way to Happiness creates, the police specifically requested distribution of the booklets.

Volunteers were all too willing to put their shoulder to the wheel in the distribution effort. They gathered the night before the big event, rallied and prepared to spread the message of the 21 precepts to the public. Booklets were handed out to attendees through the night as they arrived from across the nation by bus, some coming as early as 3 a.m. to secure a seat in the stadium.

Elected in May, Mr. Ramaphosa initially took over the position in 2018 when former President Jacob Zuma resigned amid accusations of corruption. Ramaphosa’s campaign was based on a platform of honest government and social reform.

“It is time for us to make the future we yearn for,” he told the crowd of tens of thousands gathered at the stadium. “It is through our actions now that we will determine our destiny.”

Well aware that his election was “a mandate to build a nation founded on social justice,” Ramaphosa stressed the importance of “dealing with each other with honor, dignity and respect.”

These same ideals are echoed in the pages of The Way to Happiness: A Common Sense Guide to Better Living written by author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. The booklet’s distribution at the inauguration supported the new president’s message to the thousands of citizens.

Volunteers and police officers handed out some 70,000 copies of The Way to Happiness to those flooding into Pretoria to be part of this historic occasion.

Morality, honesty, taking charge of one’s own future—these are all basic values strengthened by the application of the 21 precepts of this guide to happiness. And they are vital components for building an ethical and productive society.

So popular were the booklets that public snatched them up the moment they saw them, some reaching out of bus windows to grab a copy, not wanting to wait to get off first. Seeing the enthusiasm of people to have the booklets, the police grabbed boxes of TWTH and soon joined in on the distribution, handing out the booklets side by side with the volunteers, reaching out to the individuals who make South Africa what it is.

Precept 10 of The Way to Happiness, “Support a Government Designed and Run for All the People,” reads, “It is, after all, the people and their own opinion leaders who sweat and fight and bleed for their country. A government cannot bleed, it cannot even smile: it is just an idea men have. It is the individual person who is alive—you.”

At the end of that historic day, the media reported that the country’s happiness index was unusually high for a Saturday afternoon: “This Saturday was different from others, in that instead of the mood declining from 2 p.m. onward, it increased … and the happiness score remained higher than on any other Saturday, reflecting the positive mood of the country.”


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.