The Joyful Ones Among Us

Posted on July 12, 2016 by Dr. Lynda

Think about it for a minute… Is there some special person in your life who always cares about everyone else’s happiness, more than they do their own? Do you know anyone who always hums or sings to themselves while they do the worst jobs?

Image: The Joyful Ones are happy even when spraying for mosquitoes

They are the same people who sit quietly when others are complaining, and then chime in at the end with a comment about the bright spot in the situation, aren’t they?

Not long ago I was reading a great book about happiness and the author, Matthieu Ricard, referred to these people as “the joyful ones among us.”

I was rooted where I sat.

That term so perfectly explains my sentiment towards a few people I know who have an indomitable, happy spirit. And yet, most of us barely stop to notice these important and very rare people in our lives.

Today’s EWC article will bring us all to a new place from which to celebrate how lucky we are to have those unique individuals in our lives, always there for everybody, hustling to keep everyone happy.

Have we got you thinking about the joyful ones in your life?

First, let’s sort out who belongs in this category of “heroes”:

They are not necessarily all the really nice people in our lives.

Nice people can be high or low. They will indicate they agree with us, even when they don’t. They can be the ones with all the ideas, organizing everyone and everything. They can take on too many responsibilities in order to be well-liked.

Image: No joyful ones here, only a angrily tired crew of workers

Even the nice people can fold like a lawn chair when they are over-worked and exhausted. (Like the group of yahoos in the photo above who spent an entire vacation building this shelter and had some regrets.)

In the end, like most of us, even with the nicest people, it can still be all about them in the end.

But if you ask a true joyful one, “how are you?”, they’ll almost always re-direct their answer into how you are!

If you ask them what they want to do, or what they need, they’ll always work things out so you are happy.

They forgive and forget really easy… almost to a fault.

And when a situation is going off the rails, all the while they are smiling and negotiating everyone’s needs. The joyful ones dance around a room as fast as they can to keep the peace.

Think for a minute… Are you lucky enough to know a few “joyful ones?”

Image: Six joyful kids in a lake

Are you one of the joyful ones?

One of the reasons this term “the joyful ones” stopped me dead in my tracks was that I realized I was not one of them: I have my mood swings and can be demanding about having the details done exactly right.

I care if others are happy, but I assume far too much about what should make them happy, so I tend to make all the decisions in that direction.

I forgive really easily, but I rarely forget the transgressions of others.

I also realize that the rest of us take the joyful ones for granted at best and, at worst, we push their good nature to the limits sometimes.

If you are really honest about yourself, does any of that sound a little familiar?

Since realizing who the joyful ones are in my life – in my life I have about three true “joyful ones” –  I’ve been trying to be better around them: I’m quick to celebrate their gift; I’m trying to be conscious to avoid taking advantage of their tendency to forgive and forget almost instantly.

And most of all, I have told them I think they are a “joyful one” and I have thanked them profusely for including me in their life, such as I am.

Image: Two Joyful Ones cook on a boat for everyone

In the photo above, you see my sister-in-law, Katie, working hard to keep everyone fed and happy, and I’m the one with the pirate patch over my eye. Funny huh? It’s a telling photo of the role each of us plays sometimes on the family farm we share.

Many of us can be like pirates, stealing the joy of others when we are not our best selves.

Katie is a joyful one.

I’m a “Joyful one wanna-be”.

Let’s thank those humble, almost always happy people in our lives. They keep the ship afloat for everyone, much of the time!

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda