Today I begin my study of Joy as it unfolds in my life. My plan is to read The Book of Joy, by HH, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams, and examine the ideas and principles. After reading the introduction, by the talented writer Douglas Abrams, I read through Chapter 1. One of the ideas that struck me was this: how central relationship and friendship are to our experience of joy. As I was pondering that idea, the phone rang and grandson Rod announced that his father was bringing over two of our Greats, Evan 7 and Madelyn 8, for an impromptu visit. They are here from Las Vegas, visiting their father and numerous relatives. Suddenly, they were at the door with hugs and kisses. Quickly, the living room was strewn with toys, questions bounced off the walls, and all was happiness. We were allotted two hours before their grandfather came back and carried them off to supper. Soon after they came, their grandmother arrived. We all had a jolly time together, and when the children were tired of tinker toys, coloring, and building with blocks—well, my two ipads were just the thing. A long quiet day was what we expected—but excitement, happiness, and joy just fell into our laps. What a joyful surprise!! We were so exhausted when they left that we ordered a pizza—and took a long rest in our recliners.
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A friend invited me to join #OneWord365 and I accepted. Other friends have been selecting their words for several years and I have been interested in the idea. As I pondered a selection, the word “Joy” popped into my mind. I resisted at first and then I thought: what do I wish for myself, my friends, my family, and all humans?? Joy! Then I remembered HH, the Dalai Lama and his new book with his dear, beloved friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu: The Book of Joy. So—-that’s my word. My other project is a gratitude journal, which I try to write in each evening. I’ll be working on joy–and gratitude– and writing about it here. I think I will start early, as 2017 ends and then as the new year emerges.
What we need to understand is that as the body ages, multiple systems begin to fail or become diseased. Knees, hips, and shoulders must be replaced. COPD becomes a big problem for many, as does adult onset asthma. Allergy problems are an issue. Blood disorders develop, cancers arise, heart attacks happen, muscle-skeletal problems arise–there is a long list of issues that develop as people age. Not to mention various kinds of accidents. Americans now expect to live to 80 or 90—-and there is no way to do that without excellent health care, lots of preventative testing and measures, and seeing multiple doctors. It isn’t just hospital stays—-medical care means lots of meds and many visits to various specialists. Medicare allows all of this kind of help. Moving to private vouchers will mean that only the wealthy can have the care that is now available to ordinary working class Americans. Medicare for everyone. Why should world class health care be only for the wealthy??????
A Life in Letters
Recently, I have been reading Thomas Merton, A Life in Letters