One of the measures I use to determine if an experience is worthwhile is the amount of joy I feel and am able to share with others. Among the variety of definitions of joy I found the following:
The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires (Merriam-Webster).
This definition begins to express what joy means for me, but falls short as I feel joy is as much social as it is personal. A quick review my blogs will lead you to understand the importance of relationships and how they form the foundation from which I act.
Joy as a social emotion is core to a new website (www.globalmomentofjoy.com) committed to raising feelings of joy around the world. The website encourages us to:
“Share a global moment of Joy with your friends and family and with everyone on your social media and encourage them to join in on the fun… [to] help raise the level of Joy in all life on earth by having millions of people in each time zone around the world engaging in A Global Moment of Joy. Think of the power of millions of people coming together in Joy, Love and Gratitude to create a more Joyful, Loving and Peaceful world.”
Currently over 58,000 individuals have visited the website from 110 different nations.
To further support joy as a social emotion think of all the Facebook posts, Tweets and other social media forums through which joy is expressed by individuals and groups. This includes announcing an engagement; celebrating a wedding; sharing the birth of a child, a promotion or new job; or expressing joy connecting with someone from the past.
One of the benefits of working with Special Olympics is that their mission statement includes the expectation of joy.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
I encourage us all to create and share experiences that bring us joy and connect us as individuals. It can be the “tie that binds” us together to create and sustain an engaging peaceful world.