More than a dozen people — and about half as many dogs — gathered in front of the Legislature on Monday afternoon, waving signs and cheering at passing cars in a demonstration of positive mantras.
“It’s not a protest; it’s a happiness sprinkling,” explained Gwynne Cunningham of Carson City. “When I drive down here, I always see people protesting. I never see anything happy. I wanted to get out here and spread some happiness.”
Sharon Brown of Washoe Valley organized the demonstration after learning about it on Facebook. The project started in 2012, when Laura Lavigne found a print shop to donate signs for the first Happiness Sprinkling Project in Anacortes, Wash. Since, the signs have traveled across the country for similar demonstrations.
“It’s Monday. It’s rush hour. People are stressed,” Brown said. “We’re brightening up a cold January day.”
Participants dressed in bright-yellow shirts and waved signs with messages such as, “Be you,” Breathe ...,” “Tell them you love them,” “It’s going to be okay,” and “Why not?”
For Sue Sage of Truckee, the Happiness Sprinkling Project was a natural fit.
“I want to focus on the good things in life, not the bad things,” she said. “I think that will lead me to a happier life. What you focus on expands.”
Annette Donnelly of Carson City said she could see the messages getting through to people as they drove by.
“Just seeing all these people smile and honk makes you feel really good,” she said. “I’m all about the positive. Positive energy. Positive everything.”