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"I Am Happy" Project Spreads Smiles

2:12 PM, Dec 21, 2009   |    comments
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Mona Lisa


SACRAMENTO, CA - "On a scale from 1 - 10, how happy are you?" asks Edwin Edebiri as he approaches strangers on the street in Sacramento. Most of them answer.

That's how the I Am Happy Project begins and spreads. It's a movement Edebiri began in early 2009 and has turned into a non-profit organization that has spread the message of happiness throughout the country and beyond.

"Everybody I come across wants to be happy," said Edebiri.

Once Edebiri asks people for their rating, he asks what makes them happy.

"I've got a loving wife that makes me happy," responded Reggie Fair of Sacramento. "I've got a job I enjoy that makes me happy, family that I appreciate."

Edebiri says people usually answer faith, family, and/or friends, which are the main components of the I Am Happy Project. They're the simple things in life that he says people often overlook as they pursue other things that might make them temporarily happy, like money or fame.

"Happiness is a decision and it's one that you make in advance and it's one that is easiest made when there's no contingency on it," said Edebiri.

To spread the message, Edebiri hands out a pin to the people he speaks with, which says "I Am Happy." He then asks participants to spread the word.

"I'm hoping that if enough individuals bound together, we together will declare it and maybe Congress will acknowledge it and maybe the U.N. will endorse it, but that would be like the secondary. I just want to go to the people," said Edebiri.

by Anne Makovec,



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