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The Happiness Game 

Grade level: Middle school 

Objectives: Introspection about happiness, our wants, and our needs. 

Materials needed: A paper and a pen. 

Time: 60minutes. 

Description: The happiness game is an activity designed to encourage children to find things that make them happy and live an authentic life. The facilitator has to make three columns as follows: 

a. Things I must have to be happy. 

b. Things I would like to have to be happy. 

c. Things I do not require to be happy. 

Participants have to add three things in each column. The facilitator can then engage in a general discussion about their choices asking them the reasons for it. The emphasis should be on the things in the column of ‘must have’. ‘Must’ is an example of demanding perfection which can be a hurdle to happiness. A person demands that things must happen according to his subjective likings and failure in it results in emotional upset. The facilitator can then engage in the following questions: 

  • Are the things written in the first column (things one must have) so important to be happy? If so, why are they so important?
  • Are there any moments in your life when you were happy without these things? (It implies that they are not the only essential things to be happy)
  • If you do not get these things, would you always remain sad?
  • If you are happy without them, are they that important? What is the difference between necessary and complimentary?

After asking these questions, the facilitator can then allow the participants to change the choices across the columns. Choices in the first column can be moved to second or third, second to first, third to first, etc. 

Note: It is recommended that this activity should be carried out by a Philosophical Consultant; in the unavailability of a Philosophical Consultant, a facilitator can perform this activity be following the given set of instructions. 

This lesson plan was contributed by Aaditya Vijay Jadhav, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Joshi Bedekar College, Thane, India.