The Power of Joy
“My friend just sent me this link,” I told Harrison and Olivia. “It’s supposed to be really fun.”
As I pulled up the youtube video, they stopped me before I clicked play.
“Oh, yeah!” They said. “Dad showed it to us!”
I read the caption. At 17 million views, I can see how the odds were that they had, indeed, seen it. But I hadn’t, so I clicked on.
Within moments I was dancing in my chair with the wedding party. Soon tears welled in my eyes, and I noticed I had a huge smile on my face. The unadulterated joy of the wedding party was captivating. It reminded me when millions of us fell in love with “Where the Hell is Matt?”, as he danced with people across the globe. It just feels SO GOOD to feel the joy in these videos. It made me realize that, despite news of layoffs, real estate market woes and financial stress, it pales in comparison to the power of spreading joy.
And it doesn’t take grand gestures. A shared smile with a stranger, a wave of a hand to let a car into your lane, a random note of kindness, an unsolicited compliment.
Yesterday I was a guest at a b’nei mitzvah. The son of my dear friends, Sylvia and David, shared his special day with his cousin, Jared. Both Wyatt and Jared taught us Torah, and I don’t believe there was a person there who wasn’t touched. Jared questioned why humans go through struggles. Is it God’s way? Are there lessons to be learned? Could it be karma, perhaps? While he surmised there was no concrete answer, he did remind us that it is because of struggles that we can recognize happiness.
When a girlfriend called me last night to share her financial concerns, within ten minutes we were both uplifted and positive. As we all coach one another through stress, reach out to help friends find employment, make calls to offer an understanding ear or encouraging words, it seems we’re more connected than ever.
I think what is most moving about the wedding dance video its humble intention. The bridal couple did not send it out with hopes of being discovered, or to seek youtube fame. They had no greater ambition in dancing down the aisle than to express their joy. And because they felt that joy, we felt it, too.