I hope what i do brings you joy like it brings me joy. When we work on any sort of craft or job or when we carry any amount of influence then we have the ability to leverage our creativity or influence for evil or for good. I want what i do to lift our collective joy. It’s hard (impossible) to make all people happy all the time and that’s not what i’m talking about here. I’m talking about our overall joy. I have a couple of practical examples that come to mind.
Several months ago our leadership team where i work decided that at our annual conference in Thailand we wanted to create a special night for our people. On the last night of the conference we would host a dinner and special concert at a nearby fancy hotel. A donor graciously stepped up and provided the funding for the banquet, so then i was tasked with assembling the team and creating a memorable night. This being the last night before our people departed Thailand and headed back to their lives all across Asia, i knew i wanted to do something that would lift their spirits and bring a deep sense of joy. My hope is that i was able to leverage creativity, vision, and influence to invite people into a joyous moment together. It brought me joy to create something that would bring joy to others.
A friend recently invited me to lunch to brainstorm some events that they want to do in Asia. Knowing my experience of living and traveling in Asia, i think she just wanted to pick my brain and bounce some thoughts of me. I’ve done several events in Asia, but i wouldn’t say i have much wisdom or insight to help other people do events in Asia. Nevertheless, i was thrilled to have lunch with this friend and talk Asia (i’ll take any lunch appointment where someone wants to talk about Asia). During our two hour lunch we discussed Asian politics, the future of Asia, cultural insights, and big dreams for the future. Then i spent about 20 minutes and shared remarkable stories from my experiences in Asia. My hope was that i would be able to leverage my knowledge and experience in Asia to bring joy to that lunch. I wanted to invite these friends into the joy that i get to experience as i’m a small part of a massive story that’s unfolding in the world. My hope was that at the end of the lunch we could all look at each other and say with utter amazement, “Isn’t it incredible what’s happening all across Asia?” Not by my doing or any one person’s doing, but only by favor and grace and mercy do we get to see the beautiful things we get to see and meet the beautiful people that we get to meet.
I hope that in every situation with our work and lives we take the opportunity to invite people into our joy. We need to lift up rather than pull down. Think about the place where you work and the places where you volunteer. How are you inviting people into your joy?