What is it that makes each of us happy? For many of us it consists of simple everyday things – intangible at that. We enjoy freedoms. We enjoy seeing pleasure or satisfaction displayed on the face of another. Smiles, clean water, sunshine, rain, playing games or enjoying other activities with close friends or family members. The associations we have built up for ourselves. Serving others.
I am not a morning person, but I enjoy hearing Jenna singing in the morning. It makes me happy to know that she is happy. And I know that she is happy when she’s singing.
Experiencing joy is different from one’s definition of happiness. Happiness can come from material things – perhaps not permanently, but rather on a temporary scale. We seek pleasures or feel contentment. Riding a bike makes Jenna happy.
But joy seems to bring a higher satisfaction. Perhaps Jenna has not mastered the bike completely. It still gives her pleasure and great satisfaction to ride it – but the pure joy shown on her face the day she realized that she could do it by herself. She didn’t need daddy constantly at her side or training wheels or any kind of assistance. She had accomplished something! That smile said it all.
So may be the joy in a teen who gets the drivers license, first car, marriage certificate, diploma, awards, whatever. Or with a grandparent who embraces his grandchild. I think the joy remains with the grandparent, but tends to lose value with the other things mentioned.
Oh, there is still happiness there. The freedoms of driving, framed awards and certificates that still mean something – but tend to blend in with the wall over time, and often taken for granted. Often people are taken for granted, and that’s too bad.
If we work on the things that truly make us happy and find joy in our everyday lives, how much more desirable we will be as human beings. Let us spread the joy that we feel so that others may pass it on also.