How can we speak of joy?
How can we even speak of joy in this pandemic crisis? People are endangered, sick and suffering. Business are failing. Schools and shops closed. Vital services struggling and supplies lacking. People are isolated, fearful, and the threat of total lockdown looms. I ask again: how can we even think of joy right now?
Well, think we must. In fact, it’s more important than ever to look for the joy in our lives. Just as we’re looking to bag that last sanitiser or pack of loo rolls, we need to grab whatever joys we can in these dark days. To recognize joy, cherish joy, maximise joy, build joy, start little fires of joy. Wherever and whenever we can.
As the ancient sages taught, gratitude is the key. “Thank heaven for small mercies”, people used to say. Because it’s only by appreciation, by being grateful for what we do have, when we have it, while we have it, as long as we have it, that we can begin to start some joy fires to warm our hearts and clear our minds.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not advocating ignoring anyone else’s suffering, quite the contrary. But, just like toddlers can be in floods of tears one moment and fits of laughter the next, we have the capacity to feel joy, even in the midst of great suffering. That’s our nature. It’s our gift.
Reasons to be joyful
So here’s nine reasons to be joyful, right now, despite everything.
- The breaks are on. We have no choice but to rest and recuperate.
- We have time to reappraise. That can never a bad thing.
- We have a chance to focus on what is meaningful.
- We can spend quality times with our kids.
- We’re actually picking up the phone again, to connect with our loved ones.
- We have a chance to think of others.
- We have an excuse to do our yoga, meditate, write that book, bash out a few hit songs, change career, knit, cook, whatever.
- Nature is getting a breather too. Fish are back in Venice and the waters are clearing. China’s factories have stopped billowing smoke and the smog is settling. In England’s green and pleasant land, we’re inevitably back in our gardens.
- We can rediscover simple pleasures.
I’m sure you can think of many more. And I encourage you to do just that. To look for the small joys. Appreciate them. Capitalise on them. Build some joy fires. Because we need them more than ever.
Wishing you the very best.
Joyfuel Jules[With thanks for the pic to Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash.]