Happier is based in Boston and yesterday was just a normal working day for the team until the horror of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. When we heard the news everything came to a halt. Like many others we jumped on Twitter, major news sites, and our phones to check on friends and family. Some of us had friends running, many of us had friends helping out along the route or waiting in the grandstands. We were lucky and everyone we knew was OK, at least physically. I think it’s fair to say that few people in Boston were OK emotionally or are feeling OK today.
What happened was scary, sad, tragic, infuriating, and shocking. I felt in a daze for an hour or so, with pangs of memories from living in New York in the aftermath of 9/11. I am not a crier but I really wanted to cry. And then I opened Happier on my phone.
If you’re not familiar with our app, we have a Discover tab which shows happy moments form our community. We look at all the moments people share publicly and select some to be featured on this tab. I probably handle 70-80% of selecting which content to feature, wearing my second hat as editorial lead for the team until we are able to hire someone. When I opened Happier and went to our internal tool to select moments for the Discover tab, I no longer wanted to cry. I felt literally lifted up by the outpouring of kindness, support, strength, resolve, and genuine incrediblness from the Happier community. Yesterday was not a day to feel happy or even happier, but what I learned from our users is that it was absolutely a day to find something positive in the aftermath of the tragedy and focus on that instead of giving into the monsters who caused and reel in their awful.
This is a difficult post to write without sounding opportunistic or self-serving but I felt such a compelling need to share this that I am taking the risk. Below are just a few of the happy moments our community shared yesterday (all of these were shared publicly). For each one here there were hundreds more just like it. I wanted to share them here as our small tribute to everyone affected by the tragedy.
Boston, we love you, we are proud to be part of you, and we are here to do our part in helping you stand stronger, and brighter, and awesomer.