That’s not joy. That’s what the marketing department and the cereal packaging designers are telling you to sell books and smart phone apps and Coca-Cola.
Beware of products that promise you joy. It isn’t something you buy or pencil into your schedule.
Joy is a mystery. Joy is a very welcome but unexpected guest. Joy is going to surprise you when you didn’t make careful plans for it.
Joy is exaltation. Joy is overwhelming, discombobulating happiness. Joy is emotional and/or spiritual. It isn’t a glutton, a hoarder or a hedonist. It does not appear on the menu.
Joy is not a voluptuous blouse or a silk tie or an almond chocolate bar. Those might be a pleasure. They might give you satisfaction, even deep satisfaction, but they will not exalt you. Joy is of another order.
Here’s a goofy listicle hellbent on debasing joy at your expense: “100 Things That Can Bring You Joy.” Among the supposedly joyous activities here are things like Go Shopping, Have More Sex Than Your Friends, Organize Your Bedroom, Eat More Steak, and Make a Gigantic To-do List.
If Starbucks brings you joy every morning, what word are you going to reach for when your underappreciated, much-beloved, deserving daughter against all odds wins an award for bravery? I feel sorry for you if you group these two things in the same category: joy.
It is exaggeration that cheapens value.