This I Believe

Thomas - Burnsville, North Carolina
Entered on August 16, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I am a happy man.

Because of mild health issues, I have known pain through much of my life. I have also found joy!

I believe that joy is one part perception and two parts creation.

We perceive beauty in nature and in the actions of others, yet must admit that all perception is subjective. Individual experience is the source of our perceiving.

We create joy by individual definition. My experience has led me to define joy by going outside myself.

As a musician, my greatest joy is not just in hearing a composition performed, but in receiving positive feedback from performers and listeners. Their satisfaction is my joy.

As a writer, my joy comes not from seeing a poem, story, or an article in print, but in the reactions of stimulated readers.

As a teacher my joy comes not just from test results proving that teaching took place, but from lively discussions and years-later comments, showing that learning took place.

Creating for the performer and listener, writing for the reader, and teaching for the learner all give joy!

Striving to make a partner happy in daily activities elicits happiness.

Consideration in sex yields more satisfaction.

Cooking to please others brings joy – and better cooking.

Once I got past trying so hard to please myself, I have found the greatest joy in pleasing others.

I am truly a happy man!