January 9, 2008

Joy to the World

OK, I'm over my snit about guns from the other day. I haven't changed my mind one bit but I'm just in love with the world today. A friend phoned with tickets to the hockey game tomorrow night, I found a new leather jacket at 60% off, had a great lunch at Leo Fu's and everything else seems to be turning up roses. And no, I'm not about to start attracting things I don't want by feeling guilty about just plain feeling good! So, as old blue eyes sang back in 1977 - "What Now My Love?"
My neighbour, across the back, has had his Christmas lights on all night but he doesn't have them hooked up to a photo electric timer (sniff) so this is a haphazard, not a nightly occurrence. It is however, a very pleasant experience to walk into the kitchen at 5:30 AM and see colourful lights spreading a little joy into the world. He will never know that he has done that for me personally, but isn't that the reason most of us put up lights through the holiday season - to bring a little light, a little joy into the lives of others. It doesn't take much to accomplish this, in fact I suspect that it is the small acts of "joy-spreading" that mean the most. The small and often anonymous acts of kindness, given without need of a return, or a thank you, can often change lives. They can certainly change the lives of the giver, if not the receiver. I suspect that the key here is to be very mindful of giving without expectation even though we dance between expecting the courtesy of a 'thank you' on some occasions and wanting to remain anonymous on others.
I was reminded last night of how lives get changed. Most of you will know that we have an annual hockey tournament that honours the lives of two young men in our community who died 5 years ago in an avalanche (there's a link below). This tournament takes an enormous amount of time and effort by some very dedicated people, most of whom didn't even know Ben or Jeff. I looked around our dining room table last night at 8 people who have come together in a cause that is bigger than themselves. They will be responsible for providing a great deal of joy to the 300+ players in the tournament in addition to offering the opportunity for all of them to apply for education bursaries. Who knows, one of the bursary recipients could go on to find a cure for cancer, in which case, each of these 8 people (along with others who are involved) will have played a small and probably anonymous role, in helping change the world. Most of us want to change some things in the world that concern us and I suspect that the best way to start might be to take a small step in the direction of joy - our joy and the joy of others - try smiling at the first person you see after reading this. Then, watch their lights come on.

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