Detroit, Michigan was once highly valued as a bustling city with a flourishing automotive industry and musical legacy, but it has now long since been considered one of the most troubled metropolises in the nation.  Unemployment, crime and drug trafficking has driven roughly twenty-five percent of the Detroit population out of the city over the past decade, leaving behind a huge ghost town of abandoned businesses, buildings and homes.  Detroit was the first major United States city to declare bankruptcy (in 2013) and still it fights to eliminate the urban decay and crime that plagues remaining city residents.

How The Way to Happiness Can Help

The Way to Happiness has great value in reversing the urban decay of entire cities because it provides individuals with an easy-to-apply, commonsense moral code that can rapidly improve the lives and health of individuals, families, communities and indeed society at large.  Monika Biddle is just one such individual who is determined to change the course of her city.  Biddle has connected up with ARISE Detroit!, a coalition of approximately four hundred community groups who are sharing their programs and resources in order to promote volunteerism and community activism.  Biddle then reached out to Mack Alive, an east-side Detroit community development group that is led by former Michigan State Representative, Artina Tinsley Hardman.  Upon introduction to The Way to Happiness, Hardman immediately could see the practical value of the twenty-one precepts at work in her organization, and feels that anyone and everyone can benefit from moral guidance.  Volunteers went on to distribute thousands of booklets in the local district, and Hardman has discovered that no matter how they use it, someone picks up the booklet and calls to ask where they can get more.  People who read the booklet routinely decide to share it with their friends and family, which works to build stronger communities.  The Way to Happiness Foundation Detroit worked hard on the west side to repeat this pattern in those communities.  The Sisterhood Foundation in Brightmoor launched a Way to Happiness program in housing projects, and in north Detroit, a faith-based support group for victims of violence also adopted The Way to Happiness.

As word continued to spread across the Motor City, more than forty interfaith community safety and service organizations quickly placed over forty thousand copies of The Way to Happiness booklet and films in the hands of Detroit citizens.  As a result, violent crime and property crime dropped by twenty-five percent in these communities.  Top city officials, including City Council members, the Chief of Police and Detroit’s Mayor, also received copies of the booklet and stated that the Way to Happiness initiative is vital in reviving the city’s spirit and pride, enabling residents to build a bright, new Detroit where everyone can flourish and prosper.

Making The Way to Happiness Their Own

Mack Alive and other community groups created their own custom covers for The Way to Happiness booklets they distributed in their local areas.  In this way, city residents are truly getting powerful gifts from their friends and neighbors, those who truly care about their health and happiness, and who are willing to do whatever it takes to improve conditions in their community.  And just like any other truly powerful idea—the ideas promoted through this simple booklet are rapidly taking hold and spreading throughout the Motor City, proving that even the worst cases of urban decay can be effectively and entirely resolved if one only possesses the tools by which to change these conditions.