Jar of Joy

There is a Jar in my bedroom, I call it the Jar of Joy. It has bits and pieces of memories, of happy moments scribbled in small chits of red and white by my son. At the end of the year, we take out those chits and read them. Nothing really happens, but we go back to talking about what happened on that day or trip. 2017 it was full and over flowing, this year their hardly are any chits. We have had some good moments if not many but my son has grown over the concept of storing memories.

Is this what happens in life? We forget storing the good times we have had, the good deeds people do and just focus on the negatives. This is what happens when we grow up. And then we regret. We can see a whole generation of adults who are negative. We are quick to remember our bad times, and our memory fails us when time takes a toll. I used to note down moments of my son’s acts from his infancy days. I don’t know when I completely stopped writing them but I do often return to my records of those moments. I did not click many pictures as my phone was the poor cousin of Nokia Asha back then, but I wrote them down as I heard or saw them, and the moments till date are imprinted on my mind. Most of the mothers have photographic memory of their child (I guess).

It is not that everything we experience needs to be positive, for negatives teach us how to value good. I read somewhere that the human brain is fine tuned to caution since the early man was a forest dweller and had to deal with predators. But we have come thousands of years ahead of evolution. Today we are the predators. So why are we still so negative? Is it because being negative is convenient?

We are a myopic race and a selfish one too. When it comes to our convenience we are positive, but most of the times we choose to be negative. Social Media has given us the most convenient platform to be negative. We raise objection, abuse, hate and that too without a second thought with our well groomed conscience.

We are even selective at remembering the positives. Everything is quick fix for us and negativity is way easier to practice than positivism. Isn’t it why ‘Being Positive’ is now a business and a huge commercial success. The number of healers, trainers, image makers, groomers, self styled therapists that have mushroomed in the affluent corners of our big cities have created an industry like  phenomenon for selling positivity.

We can imagine the negativity of our generation by the fact that even ‘Laughter is a Therapy’ for us.

I don’t doubt their ability, but I am amused at how our negativity has given rise to an entire industry. All because we do not make an effort to choose the positive. The list of complaints is so huge that it creates a wall around our thoughts and they keep hitting the wall and fall back into our system.

But somethings remain in the head. There is a quote in the movie The Adventures of Tintin, which Captain Haddock says –

You hit a wall, You push through it..

It is stuck in my mind. There is always a way to chuck out the negatives and reach out for the positive. But it will need a genuine effort. As parents, as mates, as colleagues, we so easily brand people as losers, as failures without giving a second thought to the negative vibes we are giving out. The mental jar we carry is so full of such thoughts. I believe the essential need is to empty this jar and keep another one – a mental Jar of Joy.

This is why I restarted the physical work of storing the positives in this beautiful glass jar, right in front of my eyes. Every morning I wake up to the good memories and I keep revisiting them to remind me that my world may not be perfect but it has its own sense of beauty. Being Positive is work and we need to do it everyday.

Start with a little jar and maybe someday you will need a barrel to store your happiness.


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