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Driven by happiness and not by money!

On October 6, World Smile Day, Agora Aveiro distributed messages of praise and challenges for good deeds, with the aim of spreading the affection we should have for others.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes and 9 seconds

© João Simões

We often feel that daily fighting is needed to find something that makes us smile, forgetting that it's the little gestures which bring the bigger impact. Agora Aveiro wanted to ease that work, bringing back the color to the city and revitalizing the community.

The best way to positively impact the next life goes through helping a neighbor, giving someone a flower or calling a long-time friend. These ideas don't always come easily and get lost in the noise of everyday life.

It never hurts to pay a compliment or do a good deed, to say a kind word, without expecting something in return. We are increasingly focused on technology, creating our own confinement instead of observing what's going on around us, so it's even more imperative to spread love and affection to others. In the end, we're all here for the same reason, we want to be happy, but it's up to us to share that joy with others through simple gestures. It's so easy to steal a smile!

With this mission in mind, and to celebrate World Smile Day, Agora Aveiro’s “Notas de Felicidade” (“Notes of Happiness”) project took to the streets. On the afternoon of 6 October, an artistic installation in the form of an “ATM” was set up in a tourist area in the center of Aveiro, where a volunteer handed out positive messages and challenges to good deeds on the back of “fake notes” to show that “it's not just money that brings happiness”, not least because nowadays money destroys more than it builds. It was then up to each passer-by to take up the challenge to make their day and their neighbor's day better, by being challenged to do the good deed of their choice, or simply to smile as they read the positive message.

And because the happiness of seeing the smile on the face of each person that was given a happiness note couldn’t be contained, our volunteers decided they will come back soon to the streets for another moment of sharing hope.

“Knowing how to find joy in the joy of others is the secret of happiness”, through simple initiatives that we can and should do, we can achieve more smiles.

“Notas de Felicidade” is part of the project “Underground Division” of Agora Aveiro. It has the support of the Municipality of Aveiro and the Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude I.P..

Gabriela Ribeirete