Joy is the greatest gift that one can receive. It is one of the closest emotions that resemble the love of God on earth, the power of joy is a miracle-maker. It is said, “If you carry joy in your heart you can heal any moment.

The power of gratitude is exemplified as joy in its purest and simplest form. This is seen in all walks of life, from the smile on a toddler’s face when he gets his way at lunch or the sparkle in the people of rural India who are pulled out of darkness by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s SAUBHAGYA initiative. The gratitude of any individual, irrespective of their age or economic status, is expressed in the form of joy. It is an innate sense of reverence that shows our thankfulness for a contribution made to add value to our lives.

Joy is innate, it is an emotion that is expressed through laughter, love and goodness. We live in an age where it is possible to produce instant joy, where fast cars and fast cash are the marks of joy. It is only a matter of time before we realise the harsh realities of life and we are able to see that fast cars are not half as good as happiness and fast cash is meaningless when you have an incurable disease.  Amidst the turmoil of false claims and shortcuts to joy, the modern man has one question: What is the path to true joy? The answer is very simple—Gratitude. It is said that when gratitude is shown sincerely, the benefits are manifold—it is a positive energy force that resonates through the whole humanity. This positive energy is produced from acts of gratitude and it ultimately leads to joy.

Gratitude is the building block of a healthy relationship. The accomplishment of stable relationships that have mutually inclusive benefits showcases the highest amount of joy. That is why partnerships of highly successful companies usually have friendships that lasted a long time. It is a well-known fact that gratitude and joy go together to provide a righteous living experience. Joy is not dependent on anything. If you can laugh by yourself and at the same time have a stable mind, you are among the elite few geniuses and artists that can achieve this feat. It is scientifically proven that people who express unconditional joy at least five times a day are able to live more sufficient lives than others. Gratitude is mostly dependent on joy. The cohesive force that binds gratitude to joy is the power of grace. The universal formula to arrive at joy is to add grace and gratitude together. Kevin Rogers, the pastor of a church in Canada, has likened grace to be an imaginary secretary and a life-coach. Through the presence of grace, he is able
to make the right decisions with the people he meets and it teaches him the ability to stay humble even at points of ego-fuelled pride. The joy of gratitude needs grace to exist, otherwise it may get overlooked by our thoughts or dissolved by egotistic intentions. It is popularly said that you reap what you sow and if you want to reap joy and gratitude, you must sow in grace.

The exultation of reaching joy and giving joy is reaped as the fruit of gratitude. The horde of transactions which happen every second these days dissolve the integral nature of gratitude and joy. It is imperative to note that life without gratitude is a breeding ground for pernicious habits. An example of this discord in joy and gratitude is the suicide of a Chartered Accountant. An effort was made to find out why he committed suicide. His records and books were examined, but no shortcoming was found. Nothing could be uncovered that gave any clue as to why he took his life—that is, until a note was discovered. It simply said : “In thirty years of service, I have never had one word of gratitude. I’m fed up!” Many people go through their lives, working hard to create a better world for other people and they do not get any recognition for their efforts. This can send them into a spiral of fatal depression and make them believe that it is the norm not to show any sign of gratitude and joy.

It may seem ephemeral to say a ‘thank you’ or shake a hand or show a caring smile, but that tiny act of kindness can bring about the greatest gift on earth—JOY! Joy is defined by success, forgiveness, gratitude and sovereignty. These joys all have differing amounts of effect, ranging from good to greatest. The one thing that is common to all these types of joy is the simplicity and purity of expression that it warrants for the various emotions and feelings that one experiences. 

The relevance of the joy-gratitude relationships can be explained explicitly by these cartoon anecdotes, “a man falls into a hole and calls out for help to rescue him, a passer-by hears him and gets to him and throws him a rope, but he is still stuck in the hole. The passer-by does not hold on to the other end of the rope.” That is an example of a situation where there is no gratitude, a person might do a piece of work for you and if you do not show your gratitude, the joy is lost for good.  Another incident where you see this relationship of gratitude and joy is when “a boy is flying a kite and his kite is higher than the clouds, it can’t be seen by the naked eye. A passer-by asks him how he knows the kite is still on the other end, the boy tells him he feels the tug”. That one act of gratitude and joy you show today to someone you meet could be the ‘tug’ they need to believe in the goodness of life. It might be a dark and empty life we live, but the joy and gratitude of our duties give us meaning and faith in a better world waiting for us.

The act of rejoicing, which is a derivative of gratitude in its simplest form, is said to make us friends with God. Does this not serve to be the greatest prize that the human mind can imagine? Why is it then we put off showing joy in our gratitude? The answer is more complex than what meets the eye, but it can all be classified into the evil of corruption. Once we are able to cut this off from our minds then we are definitely able to live the fruits of freedom that represents a truly graceful, peaceful and joyful life. Let us strive to make this idyllic realisation recognisable so it may be well with the whole world.     

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