How to Have a Life of Joy
By Steve Goodier
Do you know how to have a life of joy?
A businessman on his deathbed called his friend and said, "Bill, I want you to
promise me that when I die you will have my remains cremated." "And what," his
friend asked, "do you want me to do with your ashes?" The businessman said,
"Just put them in an envelope and mail them to the Internal Revenue Service and
write on the envelope, ‘NOW YOU HAVE EVERYTHING!’"
Paying taxes is not usually a joy. But GIVING can be joyful. We pay the taxes
because we have to. But when we CHOOSE to give time or money, then giving can
add to our overall happiness.
Mother Teresa teaches us an important lesson about happiness. She was one of
those people who emanated joy. Born in 1910 in Eastern Europe, she felt called
as a teenager to move to Calcutta, India. Some months later she saw a sight that
completely revolutionized her life.
Shortly after moving to Calcutta she spotted a homeless, dying woman lying in
the gutter, being eaten by rats. After seeing that, compassion compelled her to
beg an abandoned Hindu temple from the government and convert it into a crude,
make-shift hospital for the dying. "Nobody should die alone" she would later
say. Mother Teresa went on to establish homes for the destitute dying in
numerous cities. But in spite of devoting her life to people in such dire
straits, she radiated joy and happiness.
This incredible woman was once interviewed by Malcolm Muggeridge from the BBC
News. He asked her an unusual question: "Mother Teresa, the thing I noticed
about you and the hundreds of sisters who now form your team is that you all
look so happy. Is that a put-on?"
Here was a woman who had none of the things we like to think of as bringing
happiness: a home, a family, prosperity... Rather, she lived in near-poverty and
spent her time wiping dirt and various body fluids from half-dead cancer and
leprosy victims…and appeared to be blissfully happy. "Is that a put-on" she was
She replied, "Oh no, not at all. Nothing makes you happier than when you really
reach out in mercy to someone who is badly hurt.
She would agree that happiness does not come from acquiring, but is a by-product
of giving: time, money, love. Do you want a life of joy? Start with a lifestyle
Publisher@LifeSupportSystem.com is a professional speaker, consultant and
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