Positive messages set to lift mood at central London station

Commuters at Liverpool Street station will get a break from advertising that suggests “we’re not good enough” as people gather to display positive messages, say organisers of an event on the first International Day of Happiness

The bustling buzz of rush hour Liverpool Street station will be transformed by a wave of positivity next week, hope the organisers of an event to mark the United Nations’ first ever International Day of Happiness on Wednesday.

Wake Up London, a group of young people who organise positive-minded events, are behind a new initiative to spread good feeling by encouraging workers in the capital to smile on 20 March. They are asking people to gather at Liverpool Street station at 6.30pm, bringing only themselves and a placard bearing a simple, positive message.

Elina Pen helped organise the event, Positive Messages in Public, after the success of similar actions in the past. She told Positive News that the messages elicit a smile in most who read them: “They aim to make people feel good about themselves and know that they are already enough, already beautiful, already amazing as they are.

“Our society is bombarded with the other types of messages: that we need to buy things to make us happy, that we’re not good enough as we are so we need to constantly improve ourselves by buying the latest cosmetic products or to constantly entertain ourselves by seeing the latest film or playing the latest video game. These messages instil a sense of fear.

“We are asking people to look within themselves to see that there’s a great source of happiness within, and they can take refuge in that.”

The group organised their first Positive Messages event in May 2012 outside the National Gallery near Trafalgar Square, followed by further gatherings that have attracted more than 40 people as word spreads.

Elina Pen urged anyone who will be in London next Wednesday evening to play a part. “When displaying these messages, the boundary that we tend to place around us when we’re moving about in the city fades, and there’s room in our heart for everyone,” she said. “It’s a very heart opening exercise.”

The group will meet in front of Scribbler, in the Broadgate concourse inside Liverpool Street Station at 6.30pm and are asking participants to make their messages big and bright, to keep them as short as possible, and to try to use neutral words so that people from all walks of life can connect to them.