Creating Joy

Joy can be hard to come across these days. Once we enter the "real world," sometimes it feels like there's not much room for it. It seems we often just set our course and stick to it, doing the same thing day in and day out.

Sometimes it feels like we have to find joy. That it's hiding from us, and we have to search for it.

But what if we chose to create it instead?

I watched a video on Jon Acuff's site the other day that lifted my spirits and gave me a picture of what joy can look like when you choose to create it.

A little background: Bob Goff and his neighbors have this parade each year on New Year's Day with only one rule: anyone can participate, but no one can watch. 

A few things I love about this video and the people in it:

  1. Bob Goff and his neighborhood chose to ask "why not?" rather than "why?" There's no logical reason to have a parade in your neighborhood--let alone one that nobody is allowed to watch, but anyone can participate in. It doesn't make a profit or change the world (per se). It's probably a lot of work to organize. But some things--especially joyful things--don't have to have a "why." How much would having the attitude of "why not?" change how I live? What could I do if I didn't worry about if it made sense or what people would say?
  2. They believe that every person has something valuable to contribute. I love seeing other people's creativity at work and that the parade encouraged that. I love the idea of just being YOU, and that being special on its own. That you have something to contribute that no one else can. I think sometimes we can get lost in our jobs or our family or school (all good things, by the way) that we forget we are an individual with talents and opinions and a "you." This parade brings out each person's "you," and I love it.
  3. They weren't performing for anyone. It takes the temptation of chasing applause--which, if we're honest, I think we all battle--out of the picture. They did it simply for the joy it brought their souls.
  4. I love anything that brings people together and connects them as fellow human beings. I think there's something beautiful about finding common ground with others and living in community. I doubt all the people in this parade shared the same beliefs or political standings, but instead of focusing on what divides us, it highlighted what connected us. They all came together to create something beautiful and joyful.
  5. Balloons. Seriously, is there anything more joyful than hundreds of colorful balloons?
  6. Roderick's smile. Wow.

So there's your mini-dose of joy for today! I hope it made your heart lighter and maybe even brought you some encouragement.

Do you struggle to find joy in the everyday grind? What's your favorite thing about this video?

You can read Jon's post on this video here.