Sunday, March 09, 2008

Today Is A Beautiful Day (Redux)

Funny thing...

In an earlier post, I talked about my fears for humanity. In the comments, Solomon Broad reminded me that while it does seem that everything is coming to an end, things in many ways are better than they were 100 years ago.

Then, I read this post on The Happiness Project, and realized that it is very important to shield your joyousness, by any means necessary. Otherwise, you'll become that cynical, scarred person that I wrote about.

I'm still working out how shield my joyousness, while protecting myself and my family.

Any suggestions?


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2 opinions on this post:

Solomon Broad said...

I don't think I've ever "shielded" my joy. I just tend to look for things that make me joyous. It's a matter of constantly looking for things that lift me up - a smile a customer, a good laugh with a colleague, etc - and remembering those things. That way, one's focus is on "good things", rather than standing in front of the "citadel of joy", waiting for the approaching army, and readying oneself to attack them.

With the first example, you're focused on your joy. With the second, you're focused on fighting negativity. It's a subtle difference, but an important one. I tend to see the attacking army as a bunch of people hurling insults and pulling faces - if you've got your back to them, with your earphones in, enjoying looking at the citadel, then they are as nothing. Feeble and empty. If you're out there fighting them, they have real power, because they're dragging you away from the citadel.

For myself, I like it to a joy tree. I can spend a fortune on fencing, fertilizer, chemical sprays, etc, to defend the tree from all the animals and fungi and whatnot that are going to come and attack it, or I can water the tree and encourage it to dig it's roots in deep, and make it's branches grow strong, so that no matter what deer or caterpillars come along to have a nibble, the tree will just grow back twice as strong.

Thankfully, each and every one of us has our own Joy Citadel, and we have to defend them ourselves. I say thankfully, because each of us has our own version of joy - I really enjoy long solitary walks, or writing programmes for my PC. My sister would go out of her mind while coding. I can't defend her citadel, and she can't defend mine. What I can do is show her how to defend hers. I can encourage her to follow her dream, to remember the joyous things that happen during her day, etc. I can give her the keys to her own Citadel, but I can't force her to go in. Leading by example is often the best way - by having such joy in myself and my life, I can make her jealous of what I have.

Anyway, I think I'm going to hit Blogger's character limit for a comment soon, so I'll leave it here. :D I hope this helps, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to share.

Solomon.

Solomon said...

I figure I should add the following:

Be aware of the pests coming to attack your tree. But don't focus on them. Know that they are there, and that they want to attack your tree, but don't be so aware of them that you don't enjoy the tree itself.