La Joie de Vivre

“People are often unreasonable, illogical & self centered..forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives..be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends & some true enemies..succeed anyway. If you are honest & frank, people may cheat you..be honest & frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight..build anyway. If you find serenity & happiness, they may be jealous..be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow..do good anyway. Give the world the best you have & it may never be enough..give the world the best you’ve got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you & God..it was never between you & them anyway” – Dr. Kent Keith

I LOVE this (huge) quote & totally comply with it. If we took time to truly understand & apply this concept, I believe we´d be MUCH happier with life & ourselves. The best gift we can give others – & ourselves – is our joy (happiness is a temporary state, which may be triggered by external events, whereas joy comes from within & exists even through pain). Forgiveness is much easier accomplished when we are joyful, and from it comes peace, goodness, empathy, time, patience, etc. Of course, I didn´t say it was easy…but it´s definitely possible & totally worth the effort. It takes time to learn to be happy despite tough circumstances, most importantly it takes much practice, every difficult situation is an opportunity for us to practice & learn ways in which true joy will come above any given situation.

This joy I´m talking about comes from above, through prayer & perseverance. I myself am a working process, try as I may, I´m getting better at it because I know how important it is for others, specially the ones I love. Now, don´t frown on me & think I´m a wishful thinker. I´m not saying that when you slap a smile on your face all will be well. No. I´m talking about the certainty that surrounds ourselves & makes us look at things from a different perspective – a positive perspective – where we see each difficulty as an opportunity to grow, become wiser; actually view a problem as a good thing by taking all the good from the seemingly bad, just like God intends. Being joyful has a lot of benefits, as you may know. Just to name a few: It gives you a greater feeling of self worth & focus for living. It fosters forgiveness. It promotes altruism (unselfish concern for the welfare of others). It opens or creates an avenue for resolving failure constructively. It creates & enhances successful relationships with you family,  friends, colleagues, etc. It lowers blood pressure by reducing the impact of stress. It promotes resilience. Etc.

“You don´t need to achieve in order to be happy, you need to be happy in order to achieve” – qualia for life

Are you willing to make a commitment – for yourself & others – to live a joyful life despite the struggles (which are not going away any time soon)?

“Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go & you learn at once how big & precious it is” – Maxim Gorky

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4 Responses to La Joie de Vivre

  1. Thanks John for clearing things up on who wrote the quote….the fact is I LOVE IT!!! and believe that there is a lot of truth in it. This quote inspired me to write this post….we all are working process…but the clearer we have in our minds the way we should proceed in life, the more likely we are to do so….thank you again for you beautiful comment on my post…please continue to do so…cheers 🙂

  2. John says:

    Very nice post, Melissa. I also like that quote you started the post with (and I found out a few years ago that it wasn’t actually written by Mother Teresa, but by Kent Keith — http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com/). And the joy you are talking about squares well with the quote you posted from Aristotle in your post on suffering. Greatness of mind — what I would equate with having a lot of perspective and wisdom and real virtue — is what helps people to be better able to do good anyways and love anyways, et cetera — the “anyways” words of Jesus that appear in Luke 6:32-35 — “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” Wise and insightful and inspiring words indeed! Love, do good, be kind, forgive, build, create, lend, do your best *anyways* and always, in spite of what life or others throw at you or do to you. Always do your best, be your best, try your best, give your best.

    Thanks again for the thought-provoking post, Melissa!

  3. I´m so glad you liked it Karen…we all go through tough times yet we have to view them as part of life & our own personal growth, if not we will be stuck in a vicious cycle of unhappiness & self-complacency …cheers 🙂

  4. Karen Khaye says:

    Oh! I love this! This really means a lot to people who went through the toughest times in their lives yet still willing to give more of their own to the ones who broke them. You’re right, it’s not easy. But, with God, all things are possible! Thanks for this wonderful post!

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