Joy is an interesting word. Merriam-Webster online lists fifty-one synonyms or similar terms for joy, ranging from happiness to jocundity. Wow! Jocundity! If you know that word already, I am humbled by your knowledge.
But, on to the assignment at hand. The challenge I am supposed to address today is answering the question, “What brings you joy in life?” I can, of course, give a list of people as bringing me joy, ranging from my wife to my grandchildren.
I could also share what I do that may make me feel joyous—from singing in the choir to some anonymous gift-giving at Christmas. The gift-giving joy comes from watching my lady hand out gift cards to frazzled-looking shoppers with a basket load of toys and other gifts the week before Christmas. Sadly, this year the weather disrupted that little tradition.
As much as the things I do make me feel good, even happy, it is hard to know if what I feel is joy. I have seen joy in the face and eyes of others. I have seen people working on their lives go from a place of darkness to a place of light, even brilliance. Some of them surely felt joy, though others may have let uncertainty worry them about the future.
So, if I have trouble knowing whether I am happy or feeling joy how do I answer the question? The best I can do is this, seeing the joy in others. Whether I had anything to do with it or just happened to be lucky enough to witness it, seeing someone’s face and eyes light up is amazing.
Before closing, let me answer a question some may have. How do I, or you, know if someone feels joy or is just happy about something? Joy will bring a look to their face reminding us of one of these pictures.
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