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Simple Pleasure: Witnessing Joy in Others

Posted Jun 10 2009 12:00am

Last Friday my youngest son, Carter, attempted to swing by himself on our backyard playset. He was having trouble until his brother explained that swinging is as much about pointing your legs into the air as it is pulling back with your arms. Finally, the concept made sense! Carter began swinging back and forth, higher and higher, quite proud of his accomplishment. What I loved most was catching glimpses of him swinging in the backyard all by himself; he had this great big smile on his face and this look of pure delight. It was incredibly precious to witness!

Last night I was out to dinner with my husband. I watched as three teenage boys walked into the restaurant and sat down at the sushi bar. Soon after, the boys’ father arrived. I saw the look of love and pride in his eyes as he glanced over to where his sons were sitting. He walked up behind each one of them, smiling and gently squeezing their shoulders as he said hello. It was so sweet to observe! This moment of joy between a father and his sons melted my heart just as much as watching Carter swing happily by himself. That’s the great thing about joy, whether you are experiencing your own or witnessing joy in someone else, it feels the same—glorious!

As you go about your week, see if you can spot someone around you experiencing a private moment of joy. Notice this person’s facial expressions and body language. Notice how witnessing their joy transforms the way you were feeling in that moment. It’s wonderful; like watching the sun peek out from behind a cloud. Feel the joy! Let it wash over you!

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Speaking of small and joyful moments, I love this new ad campaign for Trident gum, which is comparing chewing a piece of Trident to experiencing “a little piece of happy.” What a great concept! My favorite ad is below. It reminds me of the power of positive thinking. It’s so sweet!


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