Joy for You and Me

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In this life only a very few are able to enjoy the kind of contentment and happiness that is deep and intense and lasting--we have a name for it--we call it joy.

Joy is dancing in the rain

A sunset on a secluded beach

Chancing upon a perfect rainbow

The laughter of a little baby

The feeling of a job well done

Wild horses galloping across a field

A flower kissed by a butterfly

The sound of waves against the rocks

A well performed play

Starry, starry nights

An ice cream cone on a hot day

The realization that someone loves you

The pure exhaustion after winning a race

The beauty of adoring eyes

The grace of a jet in the clouds

The playfulness of puppies

Dozing off in a cool breeze with the sun shining on your face

Pushing a child in a swing

Pretending to be lost in the swirls of a perfect snow

Knowing that all is forgiven

The graceful hover of a hummingbird

Finding your way

The smile that rises within you after a secret gift

~ Winsome

Most people search all their lives for happiness or at the very least, for some measure of peace. While many achieve some happiness, few are able to sustain it.

In this life only a very few are able to enjoy the kind of contentment and happiness that is deep and intense and lasting--we have a name for it--we call it joy.

Cultivating and creating joy is the pinnacle of existence. It is the difference between living a life and celebrating it. Joy is like a river running deep and fresh in your soul that flourishes despite adversity, criticism, loss and misunderstandings.

There are all kinds of things that can bring us momentary feelings of joy. The article begins with a few of the things that bring me joy. Some produce a momentary happiness and others a glorious sense of well-being that lasts a lifetime.

Something of God...flows into us from the blue of the sky, the taste of honey, the delicious embrace of water whether cold or hot, and even from sleep itself. ~ C.S. Lewis, 'Scraps', St. James' Magazine

Bliss … as though you’d suddenly swallowed a bright piece of that late afternoon sun and it burned in your bosom, sending out a little shower of sparks into every particle ~ Katherine Mansfield.

Joy … felt it rumbling within him like a subterranean river ~ André Malraux

She found herself thinking of him at the oddest moments. She was in the bank and without thinking began writing his name all over her deposit book as she waited.

He awoke from sleep, in his dream he had found himself lost in a deep cavern. Awake now he smiled as he looked around and saw his child asleep between them. His heart almost hurting with pride and love.

"What do consider your most valuable asset?" he asked her. She thought for a moment. "I can see beauty in every person I meet." she answered. He flushed. He knew this about her already.

He answered his cell and could barely hear the voice in pain. "Dad my motorcycle was hit. Julie and I were thrown into the middle of the street. Can you come?" He jumped in his car, picked a certain song, turned it up and sped off down the street, his voice confident, tears streaming down, his prayers done, hearing a divine promise. No one would die today.

She said to herself: "I'm ashamed to call my parents but I am so tired of living in the street. I'll just ask if I can sleep in the garage." When she was a block away, her father saw her and began to run toward her. He held her close as she stumbled through her rehearsed speech. "Your mother has your room waiting for you we haven't changed a thing."

The old doctor took the plate of berries and fish and put it down. He hadn't seen real money since he came to the village twenty years ago, but children he had helped birth were now bringing their children to him. He thought about the decade he had spent in a large practice in Boston. Funny how he felt wealthier now than he had ever been.

The ability to choose is freedom, choosing what you want is happiness, choosing what is best for someone else is joy ~ Winsome

The things that make us sad are disappointments in ourselves and others, being alone, being lost, having no hope, being lied to, cheated, rejected and shamed. We are sad when our love is not reciprocated, sad when we have failed someone, sad when we don't know where we are going.


It follows then that Joy results from the opposite of these things--friendship, being found, having hope, hearing the truth, being treated fairly, feeling accepted and valued. Having our love returned, having a sense of victory, knowing who we are and where we are going can be a joy.

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever ~ Psalms 16:11 NAS

The God of the universe is a happy being and tells us that He and all of heaven rejoices when one of us comes to the conclusion that we can't do it on our own and looks to Him for help.

I like to think that gratitude for that help is one of the most powerful forces at our disposal. When we are thankful for the things or abilities or relationships we have, we begin to experience joy. There are people who have come to this country out of unimaginable hardships. If we can grasp this we might be able to have more joy in the things we take for granted.

Over 100 million children are homeless and living in the streets.

Half the world (3 billion people) are living on less than $2.50 a day. 80% live on less than $10 a day or $300 a month.

Almost a billion children did not enter school in 2005.

A billion people entered the 21st century without being able to read or sign their name.

There are about 2.2 billion children in the world and every second child lives in poverty. One in three do not have adequate shelter, one in five have no access to safe water and one in seven have no access to health services. 121 million of them are not in school. 10 million of them die before they are 5, 1.4 million die each year because of unsafe water and sanitation, 2.2 million die from lack of immunization, and 15 million are orphaned because of HIV/AIDS.

You are asking yourself right now, how can joy come out of this knowledge? I will tell you.

Do something about it. Target one of the needs--water, health services, sanitation, education, diseases or shelter. There are organizations targeting each of these needs. Volunteer or give money or if you are just making it yourself and write as I do, write about it and encourage those who can to make a difference.

There have been some very simple inventions that have the potential to radically alter the statistics above for the better.

Children drinking out of a $3 to $5 lifestraw which will last them for a year
Children drinking out of a $3 to $5 lifestraw which will last them for a year | Source
19 year old Eden Full inventer of SunSaluter
19 year old Eden Full inventer of SunSaluter
A composting toilet in Sans Souci, Haiti
A composting toilet in Sans Souci, Haiti
One laptop per child XO 3.0
One laptop per child XO 3.0

Lifestraws

Lifestraws were invented by Danish Clothing manufacturer, Mikkel Frandsen. Forbes Magazine calls it one of the Ten Things That Will Change The Way We Live. By filtering water at the point of use, this low-cost straw filters about 1000 liters or enough for one person for a year. Even if you get your child's class or your club to buy only a few of these, it could save lives.

SunSaluter

I don't know why someone didn't think about it before now, but imagine the joy that nineteen-year-old Princeton student Eden Full is enjoying. She created a solar panel that rotates to face the sun, increasing the panels’ efficiency by 40 percent. And to top it off, no electricity is needed to power the panels. It uses simple coils that expand and contract according to outdoor conditions.

Composting Toilets

In places like Haiti where the soil has been eroded. Not only is sanitation an issue, but replenishing the soil is a priority. These toilets turn the process into soil replenishing compost that can be easily retrieved and used. The process is relatively odor-free and some, called an "Arberloo," involve planting a tree in the unit. "I think that I shall never see a loo as lovely as a toilet-tree."

One Laptop Per Child

This non-profit organization has developed the low-cost ($199) XO 3.0 computer tablet. It is encased in green rubber, is designed to be rugged for outdoor use, and it includes an eight-inch screen and an energy-efficient Marvell processor and supports Android and Linux. It has a power charging port that can use hand cranks or solar panels.

Hey my mother met my dad by writing to a lonely GI in Panama--Who knows how much joy you can generate!
Hey my mother met my dad by writing to a lonely GI in Panama--Who knows how much joy you can generate! | Source
No one can hear a banjo and stay in the doldrums so shake your tambourine and beat on your doldrums
No one can hear a banjo and stay in the doldrums so shake your tambourine and beat on your doldrums
Telling someone you are proud of them, value and like them can do a lot
Telling someone you are proud of them, value and like them can do a lot
Go ahead, what've you got to lose except bitterness, insomnia and heartburn. What you gain--Joy.
Go ahead, what've you got to lose except bitterness, insomnia and heartburn. What you gain--Joy.

As I related above, Joy results from the opposite of discouraging things--friendship, being found, having hope, hearing the truth, being treated fairly, feeling accepted and valued--having our love returned, having a sense of victory, knowing who we are and where we are going.

In addition to gratitude and helping developing countries, there are those less fortunate than us everywhere we look. I do not mean financially. You've heard the saying "If you meet a person who doesn't have a smile, give them one of yours." That is a quick way to spread some joy.

Other ways include writing someone in the armed forces who may not have any letters from home. If you are really courageous, as opposed to being a little weird for them, you can write to prisoners.

If you like to sing, like I do, try taking your guitar or accordion, heck even a banjo to a rest home and give a little joy to the less ambulatory of us. If you can't carry a tune, carry some groceries to someone without a car or read a book to someone in the hospital.

The people most available to us are sometimes the hardest to talk to. If you know someone in your family or friends are going through discouraging times, maybe a call to chat or a visit to just hang out may allow you and them to experience joy.

The most effective and guaranteed method to create joy is to forgive someone or ask them to forgive you. One of the 12 steps in AA is to make things right with those you have hurt or wronged. We've heard about the "Joy of Giving." The joy of for-giving beats regular giving hands down.

In fact, if you were to reduce the whole Gospel down to one word it could be--forgiveness. The "good news" those who have found it are to spread to the world is the simple news that we can be forgiven. Try it. After you have forgiven everyone you can think of, you are ready for Winsome's three steps of joyful living.

1. What others think of you is none of your business

2. What others say or do to you does not absolve you of your responsibility to be yourself and respond with character, not sink to their level of acting or talking.

3. Try telling yourself before you interact with someone, "I may not agree with this person nor approve of some things they do or say, but I will totally approve of them as a person. They can do nothing to change my resolve about this."

Well wonderful friends, if you've gotten all the way to here, you are true friends indeed. Go on the adventure with me. See if this day you can create joy for yourself and those you meet. The world has enough people spreading bad news and ill will--let's see if we can make a better, more joyous world--one person at a time.

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Comments 31 comments

wonderful1 profile image

wonderful1 4 years ago from Southern California

Oh, wow, Winsome.... you swept me off my feet, then you inspired me, and you topped it off with giving me a tremendous amount of hope. That is a lot of positive emotion for a little lady like me to absorb in one night, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It feels like you've replenished my air supply for many months, just as my sails were going flat idling at sea. Such a beautiful soul-- HubPages is graced with your presence.

"A flower kissed by a butterfly." I'm melting.

Voted up, and I will read this again when my spirit is deflating. Like Oprah said, "wow, just wow."


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

This is a wonderfully uplifting hub. It is so positive that it will take you out of your doldrums.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 4 years ago from India

I think I needed to read this today! Thank you, Winsome, for making something as nebulous as joy seem suddenly so much more concrete! :)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

I thought I knew how to write until I read this. There are no words to describe the beauty of your thoughts. Thank you


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Wonderful1 you are so sweet. Thank you--I am glad you found these thoughts uplifting. I like your metaphor of a ship needing wind, that's what we do for each other.

It is a pleasure to be on this adventure with you. Why create conflict when you can create joy--sometimes all it takes is a kind word and a smile. Here's one for you =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thanks Becky, I like the way Samuel Clemens said it:

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." -- Mark Twain

I appreciate your comment. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hello my favorite feline, that was precisely why I wrote this article--joy was always a little too nebulous for me so I tried to plumb my thoughts and gather others until it was something I could grasp. I'm so happy you found it helpful. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

TT2, it would be hard to improve on your gracious comment. Thank you for that and the visit. As you travel may you create joy for others as you did for me here. =:)


quicksand profile image

quicksand 4 years ago

Wow! This should soften up the hardest of hearts! My coronary arteries are already feeling the pressure!

I would like to say more, but I won't! (That's because I would need to applaud every single sentence you've written while making reference to each and every one of them!)

Great job, Winsome! (Winall)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Q, you old softie--thank you and I hope there is some joy you can take with you. I think the world is ready for some three letter words. =:)


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

You have a gift for spreading sunshine and inspiration. Rated up! Have a joyful day :)


ImYoungAtHeart profile image

ImYoungAtHeart 4 years ago from midwest US

Winsome, I am so thankful I came across your hubs. I wish the whole world could see this one that it was on a huge billboard in some big city. Every word inspires and lifts our soul out of the humdrum of daily life to hope and the joy found in each day if we just look and to think of those that have less than us and can still find their smiles, to urge us to give back. You are one of the most amazing writers I have come across. Keep writing and let me know when your book comes out, I'll be first in line.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

So much inspiration, hope and good sense packed into one hub, Winsome. Awesome writing, my friend. Thank you. Voted up into the stratosphere!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Hillary, that would make a good category--sunshine and inspiration. You always leave me with sunshine. Thanks again for the visit and well wishes. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

What a nice thing to say IYAH, if by doing what I love to do helps others to have and give more joy to the world, I am a fortunate and blessed man.

I am happy to have met you too. May you find more and more of the joy that only the young at heart can know. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Doc, you are always so generous with your praise. I can only hope to come close to your example in my everyday life. =:)


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 4 years ago from Tampa Bay

Beautiful, simply beautiful. Your heart is as big as the sky.

I love this hub. And the video brought tears tonight. Thank you, winsome.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Rebekah, thank you for coming by--it is a wonderful world, our job is just to recognize it and give back our measure of joy. Your visit has done that for me. xo =:)


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

I became a little bipolar reading this hub. I was engrossed in feeling the joy of the puppy's playing, watching the starry skies, holding my grandchildren when they were babies and having ice cream with them on a hot summer day, etc. Then I got to the numbers of all of the suffering going on in the world. Tears welled up in my eyes and I was overcome with sadness and despair. Then I read of your solutions and became joyful again and filled with some hope. What a rollercoaster ride this was for me.

This was so uplifting and beautiful. What I love is that you didn't just say Give, or Help. You said DO SOMETHING. You then presented ways a person COULD do something to help, even if in a small way. To me, Loving is doing. Caring is doing. Being a Christian is doing. I can't think of anything more joyful than helping another human being (or animal). Thank you so much.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Lisa, it is such fun to have you visit because you not only read the article but you experience it as well. I'm sorry about the roller coaster ride, but I wanted to really talk about the sources of joy and a rainbow can only do so much. I agree with you, the joy that lasts is the kind you get by loving, caring for and enriching others in ways they can see.

Jesus said an odd thing--"The Kingdom of God is at hand." He demonstrated what He meant by touching, lifting, feeding and healing people with His hands. Then He said for us to go and do likewise.

Keep up the "hands-on" approach to love, you are absolutely on the right track. =:)


Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

Absolutely stunning. Another triumph. When you write hubs like this, do you feel proud? I think you are quickly becoming one of my favorite writers here on hubpages. I try not to bias myself on my reading, but your works have such a spark to them I find myself smiling even before I read a new hub from you. This one is definitely one of your best. Awesome work!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Phoebe, thank you, you are so gracious. I do feel relieved when an article comes together well, but what I mostly feel is gratitude. It is an honor to use the gifts and education I have been given in a way that "brings a smile" or even a measure of joy to a reader like you.

It is easy to type words into a computer, but when the ideas and words come from the heart and resonate with the hearts and minds of others, there is a spark of the Divine that can change a person--and that person, with that spark may be in a position to change the world. That is why I write, because I am just "winsome" enough to believe it can happen.

Thank you for your encouragement, it is a pleasure to write here with you. =:)


Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

No, thank you for writing such wonderful hubs. They are definitely a pick-me-up after reading a tragic novel or seeing your favorite characcter killed off.


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

All my life, I have lived by; "If you meet a person who doesn't have a smile, give them one of yours." God gave us a smile, so why not use it to bring out a smile in others.

I think one of the most fulfilling act we can do as a human being, is to do volunteer work, helping people and animals in need. This brings us so much joy.

I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to read this extraordinary hub of yours. You strike me as a very wise, positive and very kind man, and of course a very talented writer. Thank you,

Sannel


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Wow. I don't even know what to say or how to express myself. This piece made me smile, almost made me cry and sent chills down my arms. Amazing. Voted up and beautiful.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Sannel, if only half of what you said about me was true I would be a blessed man indeed. Thank you for the kind words. I can see that you have the right idea about joy, giving of yourself is the only lasting way to receive. I'm glad I did a couple of hub hops and found you on the first try. Then again, there are no coincidences.

Thank you for the warm visit. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Natasha, what you accomplished in just a few words produces in me the kind of joy this article is about. Thank you, it is a pleasure to write when people like you appreciate it. I look forward to reading your hubs and getting to know you. =:)


klarawieck 4 years ago

Bravo! Bravo! Absolutely beautiful! Although I did hear a closing-zipper sound effect on that part of writing letters to prisoners... ahem! Not anytime soon, THANK YOU!

I'm constantly happy and joyous. People always ask me why I'm always so happy, which is something I'll never understand because I don't go around asking people why they're always frowning. It's a silly question.

This is a very inspiring article. It makes the reader want to make a difference. It really does. Good job!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

And yours makes me smile and want to see the other half of yours. I would have guessed you would be joyous. I'm happy it inspired you. The world is a better place with people like you in it. =: )


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

Nothing beats joy and promoting joy. Good job and thank you.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Dora, thank you for your gracious comment. Glad you liked it. Joy on! =:)

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