Sunday, February 25, 2007

Why Joy? Joy Because!

The saddest thing is a sad child. Children are supposed to be happy, unadulterated joy. If a child is sad, if a child has been hurt, if a child has been scarred, it is the saddest, most hurtful, most scarring thing. It is innocence defiled.

We are born pure. Over the years, as childhood turns to adulthood, we become contaminated. Layer after layer of things insignificant pile atop the forgotten child, turning him into an adult. Maturity is really nothing more than a big cloak shrouding our innate purity. Growth, as defined by the world, is just forgetting one’s natural state.

Because a child is pure, a child is joyous. Of course there will be the inevitable tear when the child doesn’t get the candy or toy, but that is not true sadness; that is momentary dissatisfaction. Give it a minute or two and the child will go back to its natural state – Joy.

The same goes for adult happiness. Just like child sadness is momentary, so is adult happiness momentary: merely a fleeting satisfaction. Adult happiness, be it bought with dollars or gained with favors, is a temporary happiness, as substantial as the dollar or favor that birthed it.

There is a reason people need possessions, need extravagant things. People need belongings because they need to belong. There is a void here that has to be filled. And this void is no insignificant void. It is the greatest of voids. A void created by the lack of Self. So, what can replace Self? Nothing. But we try. We try with things physical and we try with things mystical; we try with things cynical and we try with things sexual; we try with things whimsical and we try with things hysterical. But, no matter how many possessions we possess, no matter how hard we try, the void always remains. True, we may forget the void for a while, even for a mean while, but it is always there, begging to be filled and fulfilled.

But how?

There are those times when the unadulterated purity shines through all the layers, when the child peeks through the curtains with his irresistible smile. We all have such moments in life, when we are not happy because we have this or don’t have that, but we are joyous just because, just because we are.

True Joy is not something unnatural and acquired (or even required, squired, esquired, enquired, or quagmired). Real Joy just is. A child isn’t happy because something has made him happy; a child is happy because he is. The adult – who is really just a huge plastic mask – also has this happiness within him, but, because of all the distortions, it isn’t as spontaneous or evident. Still, there are nevertheless those triggers that ignite something that has always been there, just waiting, impatiently, for these moments of truth.

Joy is going back to where we once were. Joy is recognizing that we are here not because we have possessions or because someone tells us we are important; Joy is knowing we are here because we are who we are, indispensable in the greater scheme of things, irreplaceable by something or someone else. Joy is smiling at the fact that there is no void, because no matter how many masks, no matter how much makeup or how many false personifications created, there is me, me how G-d made me, me who is needed, needed not only by people but by the creator of people; needed not only by our networks but also by reality.

Joy isn’t found somewhere. Joy is realizing that something was never lost. And that something is Self.

Adar and Purim, the most joyous of times, not because we have something this month or this holiday that we haven’t had before; it is the most joyous because we realize something we’ve always had –

A Why and a Because.

(This weeks Weekly Poetry email covered the Joy topic. If you would like to subscribe to the weekly email, let me know at, sub. “Subscribe.”)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

one of the many facets of joy is smiling. and that is exactly what i''m doing now...

purim sameach

2/26/2007 12:00 AM  

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