Joy in the Small Things

by Cali Harris
Lately I’ve been thinking about how to live more joyfully. In one of his sonnets, William Shakespeare wrote, “Joy delights in joy.” When I read it, I had to think about it carefully. What does that line of poetry really mean?

To me, it means that joy self-perpetuates. It has its own internal momentum, so that when I share joy with someone else, the joy spreads. It has a rippling, reverberating effect.
As I think about how to live more joyfully, I’ve realized it’s not only the grand plans or gestures that make life more joyful. Instead, I’m beginning to see how the smallest of gestures can have the most joyful impact. I’m focusing on smiling—and really meaning it—when I say “thank you” to a shop clerk or restaurant server. I’m slowing down while driving and waving people to go ahead of me. I’ve been sending more postcards and greeting cards with notes of “Thanks!” or “Hello!” or “Thinking of you!”. And because so much of my work is related to technology and the web, I’m taking time to send quick text messages or emails to friends, family and clients.
Although they may seem insignificant, it’s these actions that bring joy not only to those around me—but help me live more joyfully, too. And this, I believe, is how “joy delights in joy.”

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