"The inner joy that every individual seeks, unlike a passing emotion, is not contingent on outside influences; it is a condition, born of certitude and conscious knowledge, fostered by a pure heart, which is able to distinguish between that which has permanence and that which is superficial."
-Universal House of Justice
◈ What are some sources of joy in our lives? How can we tell if these are temporary or eternal?
◈ What opportunities exist for each of us to bring joy to the hearts of our friends and loved ones?
◈ What are some constructive and destructive responses to a crisis?
To be joyful is one of life’s precious gifts. In times of joy, we feel our strength is more vital and our intellect keener. Joy is a shield against pain and a product of sacrifice. Abdu’l-Baha tells us that “to attain eternal happiness one must suffer. He who has reached the state of self-sacrifice has true joy.” Instead of being opposites, then, it seems that joy and pain are interdependent. We have to understand and experience pain so that we are able to appreciate what it means to have joy. Helping others in service is the key to joy. Knowing that while we are alive, there is always an opportunity to help - no matter our circumstances. One of our videos this week, the Joy of Service, highlights this as a mother shares her reflections, “When I look back on my life, the most beautiful time I remember was when I was making other people happy.” The sentiment behind this lovely reflection is something we can all draw inspiration from as we search for more joy in our own lives and a great concept to explore with others who may be seeking some joy of their own.
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