We live life because of joy. If it were only filled with suffering, it would be meaningless to pursue. As humans, we all have different goals in life due to our differing value systems. Some people want to make a lot of money thinking that it brings happiness. However, when there is too much money, it can bring much suffering. As the saying goes, “Humans die for money.” What joy is there?
Some people believe that family is the source of joy, but when family members are not getting along with one another, what joy is there living with all the infighting? Others seek joy in love and pursue it wholeheartedly. When love and hate are twin brothers, love can easily turn into hate and the deeper the love the worse the hate. As spouses and lovers fall out and sometimes become each other’s worst enemies, one seems better off single or unattached.
Those who are fond of power think that there is joy within. So they seek public office and run for high positions. However, many abuse their authority and end up being on the wrong side of the law. It seems that the higher they climb, the harder they fall, and high positions and power are not always the source of happiness.
Some others take joy in their careers. They open a factory here and a company there or one conglomerate locally, and another in a foreign country. They shoulder heavy responsibilities as they juggle their accounts on the balance sheet, work with customers, suppliers, and employees. They become a poor rich person, what joy is there?
In their search for happiness, others retreat into the woods up in the high mountains. Joy for them is in the company of light breezes and clear moon. Some look for a simple life and are happy with their lot, savoring the joy of simplicity. Other people enjoy reading and as they bask in the ocean of books, they discover the way to settle their minds and the source of wisdom. They have found joy in life.
Joy also lies in peace, kind thoughts, the absence of cravings, and contentment. While joy is sought everywhere, it is actually not anywhere out there, but right inside the treasury of our hearts. Ask a bird why it flies in the sky, it will reply, “There is joy!’ Ask a fish why it is swims in the water, it will answer, “There is joy!” Ask a lake why it flows amidst the mountains, it will explain, “There is joy!” When we ask a person why he/she is always busy running about here and there, the response is, “By making broad connections in the world and benefiting humanity, there is joy!”
Where is joy in life? There is joy in religion, cultivation, serving others, and a calm mind. When we have heart and mind, joy is right within!