“Choosing to have joy is not naively thinking everything will be easy. It is courageously believing that there is still hope, even when things get hard.” ~Morgan Harper Nichols
Our culture often tells us that cynicism is the way to show how sophisticated and mature we are, but as I’ve watched spiritual greats like the late Desmond Tutu and Thich Nhat Hanh beam with childlike joy, I’ve come to believe that choosing joy is an act of courage and wisdom that far exceeds the easy cynicism our culture so values. How often do you choose joy even in the face of life’s hard times?
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“People never harm others out of joy, they give pain to others because they too are hurt or in pain.” ~Sobonfu Somé
It’s not selfish to seek to heal our own pain or to create more joy in our lives because it doesn’t just make our lives better, it also stops the spread of pain when we reduce our own pain. Pain is contagious because hurting people hurt others.
“Joy is not a luxury, it is not a privilege. It is a resilience-giving, life-giving birthright and we can’t call forth in the world something we don’t believe in and embody.” ~Krista Tippett
We act like joy is a luxury for when we have the time and space for it, but it’s so much more. It’s actually a powerful force that is not only life-giving for us, but also what fuels our resilience and our ability to make positive change in the world.
Make time for joy in your life today! You (and we) need more of it.