As we walked Angus around the neighborhood last night I was struck by one Christmas display in particular. It had the word JOY surrounded by bright colored lights. It's not an unusual word and is one found in many displays at this time of year. But it really hit me at that moment.
We choose our state of mind. Whether that be of the positive or negative variety it is ultimately up to each of us to decide how we're going to face the world. With pessimism, fear and anger or optimism, courage and a smile on our lips.
Such a small word and simple idea. To live facing each new day with hope and determination or surrender to despair and decline. There are forces at work in this country and the world today that want us in discord and disarray. Who hate Joy and Love and Happiness and Light with every fiber of their beings. Who are working hard to stamp out those things and have us living empty, joyless lives, devoid of faith and honor and devotion.
I say yes to Joy. I say yes to Compassion and Fidelity and Passion. I will find my Joy in the love of family and friends. In my Faith in God. In my Wife. My Daughter. My Grandchildren. In Sarge and MIL who are the best family and neighbors anyone could have. In a black dog who always has a wagging tail and who greets me each day with a Joy in his heart I can only aspire to.
I am free to choose how I will live my life. How I will treat those I love. How I will view each day and the challenges that come with just being alive. Yes, I will decide. Joy or Despair. Happy or Sad. Love or Hate. Life or Death.
Such a small word but one with so much meaning and potential. The ramifications of choice fraught with both frightful peril and wonderful opportunities.
I know my choice. I choose to Love and Live. I choose to embrace the unknown with an open heart and a ready mind. I choose family and friends. I choose Faith with all that entails. I choose to accept the depredations that life throws at me with all the humor I possess and gratitude for the opportunity to test and show my mettle.
I choose Joy. What will you choose?