Get your reward…give joy to others

February 2, 2019

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”  (Gibran)

The newspapers and TV news organizations often cover stories about people volunteering to help others, whether it is at a homeless shelter , a soup kitchen or maybe just a phone bank where volunteers are answering calls about things like drug addiction. Whatever the story, there are always a few who show up on camera, sometimes they aresewrving soup interviewed and sometimes the camera just pans around and you see them. For some of those people, that is their joy. In fact, for some, that is their reason for being there – to be recognized and acknowledged for their work.

But, in most cases, there are many more people involved who do not make it into the picture or on the screen. They are busy working away in the background, doing the tasks that must be done in order to allow those on camera to do their part – cooking food, packing food, delivering food or other tasks that don’t make it on camera. . For them the joy is found in just doing for others, and it can be a much more profound joy, because it comes from within.

I’ve written here before about serving at our church’s annual Lenten Soup Supper. I bowl of soupalways try to volunteer to do the job that no one else seems to want, busing tables, washing dishes, collecting the trash, whatever. There are other jobs that seem to get more attention and praise, but none that gives the satisfying sense of joy that doing those unglamorous jobs that need to be done provides. Sure, a few people at the tables may say “Thank you” when I bus the table, but most of the joy for me comes from within – from doing a job that needed to be done and which added in some small way to their joy in the event.

There is an old saying that “It’s better to give than to receive”. It turns out that, by giving joy to others, you will also receive joy in return – from within. Therefore, the next time that you ask yourself how you could be happier in life; answer by deciding to give joycaring and happiness to others and your life will take care of itself. There are ton’s of opportunities in every community to volunteer to serve worthy causes and to help others – to bring joy into their lives. Guess what will also come into your life? Find your joy in service to others.

Have a joyful weekend – find a way to serve others.


You may find pleasure, but joy finds you…

November 20, 2015

 “Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.”  –  Eckhart Tolle

That’s an interesting little quote with a depth that is not apparent upon a casual read.  We do have many things in our life that bring pleasure, sometimes fleeting and sometimes memorable. We even see this is our lexicon, i.e. “It was a pleasure to meet you”; “it brings me pleasure”; ”It was a pleasurable experience”; “I took great pleasure in that.” The experience of pleasure is almost always associated with something or someone external to our self.

mother and children
Joy on the other hand is most often discovered from within. Of the two emotions, joy is the more powerful and lasting and the more meaningful. I like the way that Rollo May put it –

Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one’s identity as a being of worth and dignity.”

Joy is found in doing, rather than just thinking and most often in doing for others.caregiver I’ve written a lot here about service to others as being a noble and worthwhile goal, but it is also a path to joy, as was expressed well by Rabindranath Tagore –

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

I have also written here a few times about the effects of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) on our lives and how it holds us back from doing the things that we want to do and the things that we know are right and that we should be doing. We hide behind walls that we build to protect us from the things that we fear. They may be physical walls, but most often they are mental and emotional walls that we construct. Those walls prevent us from reaching out to help that person who is somehow “not like us”. The walls prevent us from trying things that are new and different, especially if they involve people who are new and different. We build those walls to protect us from hurt and unhappiness and sadness; but, as Jim Rohn says,

heart in barbed wire
“The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.”

The point is that you cannot go through life protecting yourself from all pain and disappointments, from all bad decisions, from all failed relationships, from the sadness or the hurt that life has in it. Out of the survival of those travails that life throws at you will come joy. Ralph Ransom put it this way

 “Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.”

So, let life happen and find joy in the journey. Snoopy joy

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. – Greg Anderson

Let joy into your life. Don’t build those walls to keep everything out.  Have a great and joyful weekend. I joy in writing this post and hope that you find some joy in it too.

Allow joy in your life…

February 22, 2014

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson

Every now and then (more often that I’d like to admit) my wife has to stop me in the middle of grousing about something and remind me of how good things really are. She takes time to enumerate the things that we have – a great home, two wonderful dogs to share it with, wonderful children and grandchildren who are nearby and most of all each other. She’ right, of course; and it does always work to get me out of whatever funk I’ve wandered into about something that has gone wrong or something that I wish I had but don’t.

One has only to watch the nightly news to see images of those in war-torn countries or starving in Africa to see people who are so much worse off than we are just because we haven’t got whatever the latest and greatest gadget is right now. Right here in America, we have only to look on the streets to see the homeless huddled in doorways or under bridges; yet we are miffed that we don’t have the most stylish pair of winter boots. Grumble, grumble, grouse, grouse. Poor me, look at all the things that I don’t have.

I think it’s important to give ourselves permission to be happy, to experience joy in our lives by recognizing how good things really are for most of us. The fact that we have someplace with access to read these blog posts is a good thing. The fact than most of us are not hungry or cold while doing that is a good thing. The fact that most of us have clothes and shoes on is a good thing. The fact that we woke up this morning is a good thing (more so the older I get). The fact that many of us have family and friends who love us is a good thing. So, take stock of all the good things in your life and allow yourself the joy that comes along with that.

Amazing things happen to those who allow joy to rule their lives. They look happy because they are happy. People want to be their friend because they are happy and people prefer being around happy people. They achieve greater business success, because people prefer to do business with someone who is smiling and happy. They have a better home life, because spouses and children much prefer a happy partner/parent than that grousing old grump that you sometimes can become. So, allow joy in your life. Be happy about what you do have and not grumpy about what you don’t have.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that Joy is a choice and …

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

happy face