The Joy Note in Life

Few here are who feel the positive joy of living, whose blood tingles and surges with the thrill of delight just at being alive. It means loving life in a big, free, unquestioning way, feeling it a wondrous, gladsome privilege, drinking it all in, with all it is and has of good or ill, not heroically from a half-filled cup but joyously and unstintedly as from some ever-gushing spring.

Those who love life in this way have a buoyant, bubbling gladness that fills them to the brim and spills itself in joy and laughter that overflows into the lives of others. In their presence one feels a finer, truer attitude toward life, a sense of being on the mountain tops and breathing a purer air, a new touch of courage and inspiration that makes even the hard problems of life, for the time, seem nothing.

It is not that life has brought much to these men, but that they have brought much to life. It is not what they have, but what they are that makes their living a joy. When we look into what they have, we find it is rarely any direct personal possessions, but merely the great common things of life that belong to us all. But they bring to these things the seeing eye, the listening ear, the sympathetic mind and the heart attuned to all life. They own the whole world around them through their intense interest, their vivid imagination, their fine interpretation. They make even the commonplace wonderful by the spirit they bring to it.” ~ William George Jordan

Jordan’s beautiful words provide a fine and ample point of departure for what promises to be a wonderful week. Whatever you might face and however abundant or scarce your resources may be in relation to it, remember that you have yet much to bring to life. No matter how exhausted you might feel, regardless of how much you’ve pushed and clawed your way through the thick and overgrown field of circumstance of late, you have much more to give.

To access that eternal spring within you, you must relax more deeply in the recognition that you will never be given something that is larger than your ability to handle it. You may require the assistance of others (to seek such help is never an admission of weakness), but you have the privilege of meeting everything that comes your way with courage and thanksgiving.

Life is not out to get you. To assume so is to admit that you have abandoned your inherent seat of authority in living. Whenever you blame, accuse or complain, you have stopped short of revealing the finer, truer attitude toward life which is at hand in each and every moment.

Don’t forget to sound and listen for the joy note in life.

It is always there.

8 thoughts on “The Joy Note in Life

  1. Ricardo B.

    That is way awesome! To think that if some situation has come into your life, however tough it may be, the mere fact that is there in front of YOU means that you are capable in some way to handle it appropriately and further that it would not be there if you weren’t…..that one’s a jaw dropper for sure. To me, that is enough to muster whatever amount of courage is necessary to start to work with it, and in some way too, it kind of guarantees your success proportional to the depth of belief you have in that tenet of living. To me, that statement is an accord with the belief that there is an inherent goodness to the universe, a sense of universal justice that binds all things and brings cohesion and understanding to my mind when I look out into the world. How else can you make sense of all that goes on today without becoming engulfed in disillusion and disappointment where all you hear is atonal? You take that harrowing step and then it’s suspicions confirmed and out you go, the fortresses are erected and whatever faith and trust you’ve had in humanity become more distant. Once again, to help and to serve by simply not overlooking what comes before you and believing you are to do that thing effectively is a whole different matter and opens the door to growth and the riches of our internal resources.


  2. Colin

    I enjoy Jordan’s comparison between seeing life as a half-full cup and a bubbling spring. It interests me because people usually see the half full cup as the “good” path, as the optimist’s path. But, you know, that isn’t good enough. Their “heroic” drinking of the stale glass smacks of martyrdom, because the glass isn’t only half full. There is a potential for the glass to be all the way full. I am not mixing metaphors here, either, as the third option is not usually even seen as a possibility in the optimist/pessimist matrix, but it is there. It is that third type of person that you describe, the person that brings more life into the room than anyone else thought was possible. Anyone can be that person, but you have to get out of your own way, clean out all the detritus that you have allowed to clog your spring, and put that half-empty or half-full glass down to the water and let it fill up, every moment of every day. That is the only way that you can ever reach your full potential.


  3. It is often only the emotions that cause humans so much pain about a situation. If we can pause and stop ourselves from drowning in our suffering, our difficulties, our poor pitful me thinking, we come closer to knowing “what is – is”. And from there, we can find our way back to the joy and beauty that is still around us. It has not left us, it is only that our eyes are no longer seeing it. With that small pause, everything can change. We can hopefully then truly see the cause and the solution to the uncomfortableness of what is happening. When we change our thinking, we change everything.


  4. Coco

    I love being around people who are happy, light hearted and fun. I find so many only express what passes today for humor if it is tinged with sarcasm or complaint, in the spirit of “keeping it real”. Reality has been maligned by the thought that to be real it has to be “low flying”. Reality TV must not become our gauge for what passes as real. Joy is real and it surrounds us if we choose to see it. Love this post!


  5. strawberryfield

    This is our choice, a gift from our creator. It could be, to prove the existence of joy, nature was created for us to see it with our own eyes. Look around and see the evidence of joy everywhere. Beautiful post, another reminder of what we have…thank you.


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