>> 28 May 2010
The municipality of Almelo gives people who are in danger of becoming socially isolated a one-off "happiness allowance" of 450 euros. They have to use the money to do something they enjoy. The city believes that the happiness allowance is cost effective.
Money does not make you happy they say. I agree: money alone doesn't. But allowing someone to realize a dream, to think of himself for a while instead of all his problems, can bring a big change.
And it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. And as the alderman of Almelo says, in the end it's well worth giving them 450 euros to spend on making themselves happy than to have them in the social services loop.
I like the idea and think it's very creative.
I also think it could be improved.
Instead of giving them money to the people, the city could fund a non profit focused on helping such people making their dreams come true. Such an association would ensure the continuation of the dreams after the first creative class is over and the camera is broken.
It would create a community of people all working towards happiness.
So how much do YOU invest in your own happiness?
When was the last time you:
- got a massage?
- went for a long walk?
- painted a picture?
- wrote a story/song/poem?
- enrolled in a class?
- learned a new skill?
- started a project you love?
- spent an afternoon reading your favorite book?
- sat out in the sun thinking of nothing?