More Joy

We could all use more joy in our lives. After all, between a stumbling economy made worse by the government shutdown and the fact that each of us has only a finite time on this planet, it would seem that whatever we do we should do it with Joy in our hearts. Years ago, when my wife Donna and I lived in a loft apartment in Providence, we were having plumbing problems in our bathroom. Our landlord, and friend, Jim came over to fix our toilet. He arrived early in a exceptionally good mood.  Jim is by nature a fairly joyful person but, considering the task at hand, I was surprised by his overly upbeat demeanor. I asked him why?  He replied, "it's simple. I pretend I'm doing it for the President.  It's an important job. I'm doing it for my country when I do it for the President."  So, Jim was able to bring joy to a difficult job when he imagined he was doing it - this was back in the late 90's - for Bill Clinton. Maybe today whatever the task, no matter how difficult, loathsome or mundane, if we do it for the President, we can allow that work to be an expression of joy - joy in doing meaningful work, joy from the satisfaction of serving the needs of someone and something greater than ourselves. Surely this would be good lesson for Congress. If they don't want to it for President Obama, they could end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling for the American people. And hey, I guess if you don't like President Obama, you could do it for John Boehner. God knows he could use a little joy.