Yale's popular 'science of happiness' class is now available for free online
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There is a passage in Benjamin Hoff's 1982 classic, "The Tao of Pooh" where he perfectly outlines the major source of unhappiness in the western world, the search for the ever-elusive "Great Reward."

"Religions, sciences, and business ethics have tried their hardest to convince us that there is a Great Reward waiting for us somewhere and that what we have to do is spend our lives working like lunatics to catch up with it," he writes.

"A way of life that keeps saying, 'Around the next corner, above the next step,' works against the natural order of things and makes it so difficult to be happy," Hoff continues.


It's true, most of us are conditioned to believe that a state of eternal bliss is waiting for us once we get the right job, the right spouse, the right house, reach our ideal weight or finally get around to painting a masterpiece.

Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos says that true happiness comes from an entirely different place.

"Our minds lie to us all the time. We miswant things. We think we need to change our life circumstances to become happier," Dr. Santos said according to CNN.

Dr. Santos' research reveals is that happiness comes from "simple practices, simple acts like making a social connection, or taking time for gratitude, or taking time to be in the present moment," she told CNN.

Dr. Santos teaches the most popular course in Yale's 300-year history, The Science of Well Being, which teaches students how to be happy. The great thing is that you don't have to go to Yale to take it, it's being offered for free online by Coursera.

Throughout the course, you will be repeatedly asked by Coursera to purchase a $49 certificate of completion, but you can avoid it by hitting the back button on your browser.

Here's the description from the online syllabus:

In this course, you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

It's a ten-week course that is a series of videos, quizzes, and readings. The homework centers around learning more about yourself and creating habits that will enhance your overall happiness.

One of the first lessons is a character strengths assessment where you learn about your best qualities and how to implement them into your life.

Dr. Santos created the class after spending time with students and being "shocked at the kind of mental health issues" they had. She believes it's a "national trend that's getting worse."

The COVID-19 quarantine has given a lot of people extra time to pause and reevaluate their lives. This course is a great way for people to focus on creating a better, happier life when things return to normal.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

When Kinley filled out the order form for her son Mason's kindergarten class pictures, there was an option to have his name engraved into the photos. But Kinley wasn't interested in having her son's name on the photos so she wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" on the box.

Well, it appears as though she should have left the box blank because the computer or incredibly literal human that designed the photographs wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" where mason's name should be.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
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Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

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In December 2018, The Utah Department of Transportation opened the largest wildlife overpass in the state, spanning 320 by 50 feet across all six lanes of Interstate 80.

Its construction was intended to make traveling through the I-80 corridor in Summit County safer for motorists and the local wildlife.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there were over 100 animal incidents on the interstate since 2016, giving the stretch of highway the unfortunate nickname of "Slaughter Row."

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