I saw this article posted on Facebook this past week. It’s about C.S. Lewis and his definition of Joy. Boy, was he right on.
Joy, he would write in his memoir, later, “must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again … I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and Pleasure often is.”
I’ve observed so many people pursue and talk about pursuing happiness, not joy. This is one area where I think the founders of the United States were off – the pursuit of happiness. This whole Christmas season is really the pursuit of happiness. Yet take some time and observe how unhappy people really are, or how their happiness is forced so many times because they are told there must be something wrong with you if you aren’t happy about spending a ton of money during the “happiest” time of the year to buy all sorts of stuff for other – as if stuff is what provides happiness, joy or wholeness.
For some time now, I thought that happiness is just a fleeting emotion that comes and goes, while joy is something so much deeper and lasts regardless of our emotions. Joy is worth so much more than happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather be happy than sad most times, but joy, that’s the real deal. Give me joy.