[Editor Note: we’re exploring a completely different format for this 20-month-long blog!]
On my bulletin board I have a cartoon which shows a boy and a girl on side-by-side swings. The little girl is, mysteriously, making her swing go maniacally up and down, up and down, up and down. On her face is a look of utter and wild joy. On his stilled swing, the little boy is primly reprimanding, “Forward and backward, not up and down!”
Now, most people would swing forward and backward in the ordinary way, so whatever possessed the little girl to try up and down? I would venture that the thought “Let’s see what happens” passed through her mind, and so she gave it a try. The point that this cartoon makes to me is that we can find joy in the most ordinary of places, if we are flexible enough to search for it.
Despite the promises made by car commercials, joy… much like happiness… cannot be purchased, but it can be found. This means that we must look for it. How many of us trudge to work each day determinedly not expecting to find joy there? How many of us expect to not enjoy a dish that we decided way back in childhood that we “don’t like”? How many of us go to a meeting determined to be cranky? The fact is that we prime ourselves for an unhappy joylessness.
How about if we try on new things and ways of thinking? How about if we approached the tasks of our day searching for some joy, rather than pre-programming ourselves to hate the day? How about if we try a new route to work, or to home? How about if we take a chance and order something new at a restaurant?
The key to it is: How about if we take a chance, if we give it a try? Let’s see what happens!