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September 13, 2010

A quick Google search of the word “Joy” will not fail to give you less than 186,000,000 resources to the word. From Webster’s online dictionary and Wikipedia to ….

Nine albums titled “joy”

Fourteen+ songs

Books, TV episodes, city names, businesses, and even dishwashing liquid (which I personally buy only because of its name. Don’t judge.).

I’ve been thinking a lot about my middle name, what the word means to me and even more so, what it means to the world. We use nouns like “joy” to describe innumerable emotions, thoughts, or ideas. Words such as “hope, peace, love, fear”. How do words such as these impact our lives? How do we integrate their meanings into what happens after we wake up each morning, or even when we are asleep?

Webster defines Joy as:

(Noun) 1 : a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
2 : a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3 : a source or cause of delight

intransitive verb
to experience great pleasure or delight

“A source or cause of delight”. I keep returning to this definition to reflect on it. Joy is the source of delight. Joy causes delight. What causes joy?

Look at the first definition again. “The prospect of possessing what one desires: delight”. Joy is the hope of things to come.

“A state of happiness or felicity: bliss.” “To experience great pleasure or delight”. Joy is the actual experience of something each person individually craves. Your joy is different from mine. You experience it. It’s part of you. It’s the acknowledging of something in your very being that fills you and makes your heart beat.

Joy cannot be defined simply, it can only be experienced. Although I cannot experience the same joy as you, I can share in it and you can share in mine. Let’s share our joy together.

What causes your joy?

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