Practicing Joy

We vow to bring joy to one person in the morning, and to ease the pain of one person in the afternoon. We know that the happiness of others is indeed our own happiness, and we vow to practice joy on the path of service. We know that every word, every look, every smile can bring happiness to another person. We know that if we practice wholeheartedly, then we ourselves may become an inexhaustible source of peace and joy for our clients, our customers, our coworkers, our family, and our friends.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

How little we know about our effects on others.  No doubt we’ve all had experiences where someone thanked us later for something we didn’t even remember doing or saying. And times when a scowl or smile from another could profoundly affect our moods.

I like this idea of practicing joy on the path of service. Some people do it naturally, or at least it seems effortless. I’m especially thinking of my friend Silvia. And I like the idea that it adds to, rather than depleting, our energy–that “practicing wholeheartedly” keeps us available to others.

Only now am I beginning to understand that life is a series of choices, steps in a particular direction, and that every step (and every smile) matters.

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3 Responses to Practicing Joy

  1. Claudia says:

    My devotion this morning (see below) was similar in my mind to what you wrote. I have more I want to say but I’m out of time this morning. I’ll try to post more later on this subject.

    Daily Word — Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Stages of Life
    With God-given creativity, I move on to new opportunities.
    Never wanting to limit our good, we accept the new good that awaits us in every new stage of life. We have moved from being children ourselves to perhaps raising children of our own.
    We may feel like a new person in each of our roles as we reach higher levels of development. We understand that each phase enriches our lives.
    Some of us may now be facing a time when we live in a home without children and have time to pursue new careers and interests. With our God-given creativity, we have much to give in life, and we would not want to stop moving on to new situations and opportunities. Each one contains the seed of joy that, in time, grows into a joyfulness of spirit that enriches us and all those who share our lives.

  2. asqfish says:

    I am reminded of a saying of Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him: He said and I paraphrase: Giving someone a smile is a form of ibadah (fulfilling an act of worship).
    Thus by bringing joy to someone with even something as simple as a smile makes God happy with us, only because we are respecting His creation and making them happy.

  3. […] less; move more. Keep less; toss more. Waste less time; write more. Fret less; smile more. Fear less; love more. Sit less; walk more. Acquire less; give more. Look inward less; look outward […]

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