A FEW THOUGHTS ON JOY

This little plaque hang on the wall of my bedroom:

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I see it every day, and though I walk by it many times throughout the day, this does not mean I actually see it.  It is such a part of my room, of the wall, that I do not necessarily take it in.  It seems to me that JOY might be like that.  Oh, we recognize the big events that cause us to feel joyful; it’s the every day, small, seemingly insignificant ones that may slip by unnoticed.

While searching for quotes on or about joy, more often than not, the word happiness is in many of them.  So to dictionary.com I went to find out the differences between joy, happiness and happy.  Joy- (noun) a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.  Happiness- (noun) the state of being happy.  Happy- (adjective) feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.  As you can clearly see, all are interchangeable.  So my bedroom plaque could just as easily read find happiness in every journey.  It doesn’t have the same ring, though the meaning is the same.  The same goes for the quotes I came across.  Actually, there were hundreds, if not thousands, to read through and choose from.  I picked the following six to illustrate my point that joy and happiness are basically the same feeling. I think the words joy and happiness can be substituted for each other and the meaning of the quote remains essentially the same:

“Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing.  For to miss the joy is to miss all.”  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“The only joy in the world is to begin.”  ~Cesare Paves

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.”  ~Victor Hugo

“So many conditions of happiness are available; more than enough for you to be happy right now.  You don’t have to run into the future in order to get more.”  ~Thich Nhat Hahn

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”  ~Christopher McCandless

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength.  Joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”  ~Mother Teresa

Joy and happiness are all around.  We have only to take the time to see what is already in front of us, how much we already have.  Is it easy?  Maybe not.  It may take effort to look beyond our challenges and difficulties and understand that, truly, things are pretty awesome.  And the best part is, we get to choose this.  It is up to you, it is up to me, to decide on JOY, to find JOY is every journey.

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