Meaning and happiness (age 7-11)

‘Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so.’

Robert Ingersoll (1833 – 1899)

Does life have any meaning? Is happiness the most important thing in life? What is ‘the good life’? Find out why humanists believe we must create our own meanings in life, and why, if this is the only life we have, humanists place such importance on making ourselves and others happy.

Here you can find resources about how humanists believe we can find happiness and why happiness in this life is so important to humanists.

Why is happiness important to humanists?
Suitable for: 11-14, 7-11

Lesson Plans

Why is happiness important to humanists?

In this lesson students will investigate how humanists think we can find happiness in our lives, and why, because they believe life is finite, happiness is so important to humanists. Through evaluating and categorising different possible ingredients of happiness, they will investigate the different ways people can find happiness, ask whether happiness means the same thing to everybody. They will learn how humanists believe that it is important for everyone to find their own way to be happy and learn that humanists believe one of the best ways to be happy is to make other people so. Finally, they will use what they have learned to write their own recipe for happiness. Download


Why is happiness so important to humanists?



Ingredients of happiness (7-14)

Can students order and evaluate these potential ingredients of happiness, and conclude whether everyone needs the same things to make them happy. Download

Happiness recipe

An example recipe for happiness to stimulate students to write their own. Download

Humanist responses: happiness

Can students fill in the speech bubbles with humanist responses to statements and questions about happiness? Download

The 'Why?' game

An activity to help students explore whether our own happiness is the motivation behind everything we do? Download


How can I be happy?

(Age 11+) A short animation about how humanists believe we need to find our own ways to make our lives meaningful, and that we should make the most of the one life we know we have. Watch

Humanist Perspectives


What is the Happy Human and what does it represent? How do humanists think we can all be happy? Download

Other Resources

Happy Human 50th Birthday

A website celebrating 50 years of the Happy Human symbol, featuring information about its origins, its history, and its presence around the world.

Humanist Perspectives


What is the Happy Human and what does it represent? How do humanists think we can all be happy?


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