Joy Begets Joy

So we have this new little kid at our school, who only arrived in Paris just a few short weeks ago, and honestly, there is just something about him that draws me in. Lately I find myself seeking him out at least a couple of times a day because his smile and energy and enthusiasm is ridiculously contagious. Interacting with him is like getting a triple espresso shot full of joy, and everytime that I speak to him he leaves me feeling instantly better, and belly laughing or smiling as I move along through my day. 

With him it starts early in the morning as he comes bounding off of the bus literally exploding with sunshine and rainbows, and it continues until the end of the day when we fist bump goodbye. Just seeing him changes my mood for the better…and I’m almost always in a great mood already! It’s amazing how a single person’s mood and attitude can have such a profound effect on your own, and he is a great reminder to me that happiness spreads, and that your energy and attitude matters, and that joy does indeed beget joy. 

This child’s joyful approach to life connects nicely to an activity that we did as a faculty the other day, where we unpacked the phrase, “you teach who you are”, and discussed what that phrase means to us as educators. Obviously we can dig really deep into that idea, and we did, but on the surface and in very simple terms that short but loaded phrase can not only represent the effect that you have on everyone else as you enter the building each day, but it can serve as an important reminder that the energy that you bring to every space and every situation really and truly matters.

You see, If we know that joy begets joy then it isn’t too far of a stretch for us to realize that a negative mood or a poor attitude can be equally transmissive. Like me, I’m sure you find yourselves drawn to people who lift you up and infuse you with a little boost, and I’m also sure that you try to limit your interactions with those who dampen your spirits. For me, I believe that the only true currency that we have in the world these days is the energy and attitude that we bring to each and every human interaction. In every instance we have the power to inspire, or to deflate, and we all need to be uber conscious of what energy we are exuding. 

I don’t usually share poems in back to back posts but the one below resonated with me so I thought I would share it…take a read and let it sink in. Joy is a funny and sneaky thing, and like the poem suggests, it will always find you when you are ready to accept it. The thing that is true about joy is that it spreads, and it’s contagious. Knowing this, it’s also true that we all have the opportunity to change a person’s day or life for the better when we are intentional about handing it out. It’s just like my new little buddy who bounds off the bus each morning…his joy spreads over a kilometer in every direction, and it’s impossible to not be positively affected by it. 

My challenge to you all this week is to monitor who you are being for others, and to do a self audit of your joy factor. Are you spreading it around enough? If not, then make a change and seek out others who can inspire you in the right direction. Remember that joy begets joy so take it in and spill it out and watch how it changes your life, and the lives of those around you for the better. Okay, have a wonderful week ahead everyone and remember to be great (and joyful) for our students and contagiously joyful for others. 


Joy does not arrive with a fanfare,

on a red carpet strewn with the flowers of a perfect life.

Joy sneaks in, as you pour a cup of coffee,

watching the sun hit your favorite tree, just right.

And you usher joy away,

because you are not ready for it.

Your house is not as it must be,

for such a distinguished guest.

But joy cares nothing for your messy home,

or your bank-balance,

or your waistline, you see.

Joy is supposed to slither through the cracks of your imperfect life,

That’s how joy works.

You cannot invite her, you can only be ready when she appears.

And hug her with meaning,

because in this very moment,

joy chose you.

-Donna Ashworth

Quote of the Week…

Find ecstasy in life: The mere sense of living is joy enough. 

-Emily Dickinson

Related Articles – 

Joy is Contagious

The Contagion of Happiness

Make it Go Viral 

Why Attitude Matters

Every Single Day


Where Joy Hides and How To Find It 

Inspiring Videos –

Out to the Ball Game

Kindness 101

10 Things That Made Us smile This Week

One thought on “Joy Begets Joy”

  1. Dear Dan,
    It is like your post sought me out to give me a message. I needed it. I am pretty joyful as a person (not just happy but joyful), but this year I am also tired. I LOVE my job, but I am tired and it’s only September?!! Thank you for the reminder that Joy begets Joy.

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