A joy that’s shared is a joy made double. – John Ray
What does it take for life to beat you to the point where you refuse to exhibit joy? What does it say about a society that it develops standards of maturity that include hiding your joy, tempering your interest, curbing your enthusiasm.
Why do so many people veer away from enthusiasts? Why is the very word amateur – one who loves – an insult?
What happened to us, when did we become people who don’t share our joys? Was it when we decided to ‘suck it up’ and not share our pains? When did we internalise tears and joy, as if ashamed? When did we get so damned normal? What have we lost?
Are any of us really protected by the armour we normals wear, the armour of seeming indifference? Does it lead us to crush others? Does it fool anyone?
Ask yourself, when is the last time you called someone just to share good news? How much do you value the people in your life who will receive your good news and double it? How rare are those people? Are you one those people?
If you don’t have those people around you, do you dare to be the one to change that? Do you dare to hang your heart out there, when it is joyful, and risk your joy out loud? How many enthusiasts would it take to change the tide of cynicism, to overwhelm the naysayers, the nitpickers, the underminers who would, rather than cheering you on, show you the sour face of their jealousy?
If you find yourself sour to the joys of others, what would it take to return to that state of being where you could truly celebrate another’s joy, regardless of how they might have hurt or disappointed you?
How possible is it to envision remaking relationships long set into lines of distrust, of resentment, of hiding our joys and pains behind civility, to push open the heart’s gates?
When should we even bother to try?
How true, in your life, is this equation, A joy that’s shared is a joy made double?
Here in the gathering dark as solstice approaches, sun’s far off light, shared with moon, brightens the sky, frosted blue, night’s beauty in tandem with day’s. Dark lit with reflection, I have so many questions.
*This year, I am honouring my mom’s passing by writing throughout the Advent season, following as prompts the daily quotations cited in the free online calendar put out by the Catholic Medical Mission Board Mom was a lifelong Roman Catholic, and I was raised with the Church as a contentious part of our family life, given that my Ojibwe dad’s family was so affected by the church. Nonetheless, her faith was important to Mom, so this is a tribute to her. It’s also a reflection on how religions influence in many ways.
If you like these posts, please also consider donating, in the memory of Albina Sewell, to Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton; her chosen charity for memorials is not religiously affiliated, but serves all children.