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Finding Joy

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

Happiness happens to you. It can arrive in the form of a phone call, or a warm cupcake, or your favourite team winning a match. It comes hopping in, upon bursts of excitement, and then fizzles out, much like old soda. Happiness is a manufactured emotion, and it is a passive one. It depends on opportune moments and ideal settings. It is a function of the people around you and their actions or reactions and hence is fleeting. Happiness

When a child is happy, it is because she is safe amidst her toys and her people. As parents, we do everything in our might to keep the child in that blissful state. All her physical needs are met, and she is enveloped in the cocoon of affection and security. We constantly seek proof of that happiness in her expressions and her excitement. A happy child, we believe, is a validation of our efforts. And since happiness is transient, we strive harder to retain it. Joy

Joy, on the other hand, is an inner working of the self. It appears quietly in the presence of perseverance and resilience. It is evident when the child solves a particularly difficult sum or completes a chore. When he ties his shoelaces for the first time or cycles without the trainer wheels. The manifestations of joy are less flamboyant, but they last longer, and make deep imprints in the memory. This will keep him in good stead when he faces newer challenges. Like happiness, joy needs people too. To share a moment, to express gratitude, to make a difference, to create an impact. As parents, we should foster this aspect of joy that comes from the giving of oneself, and which helps create more lasting contentment. We pursue happiness because it is fickle. Joy needs no chasing. It grows within, nurtured regardless of external elements, and it gives the child both roots and wings.

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