It may be fiction, but watching “Capernaum” gets to me as if it was a direct broadcast from the Middle Eastern war zone. The snipers and the shooting, the violence in the streets and in homes, the children being a target and trying to survive on their own.
I sit in in my big, comfy, red cinema seat, frozen by the reality of the film as much as by the way it exposes my exceptionally privileged life here in Denmark. The peace, the way life is safe and secure here, the material luxury on top of everything else I have.
As the film ends and credits roll, and while the few people in the cinema begin to leave, I remain seated, paralyzed by the heavy questioning within.
Having seen that other world, only 4 hours flight from here, how can I ever continue living as if nothing happened?
In the darkness of what I just experienced on screen I feel useless and selfish beyond description. In the face of all the pain I just witnessed, my life and my world feel arrogant. And I don’t know what to do with that. So, I ask for help and guidance from within. It comes in the form of another question:
How would the world look like if everyone had access to joy?
Of course, the question refers to my work with the Joy Keepers Network and Awakening To Joyful Living . Which, right now, facing an ocean of poverty and brutality, feel insignificant and irrelevant. But still, this is the question given to me. And so, I surrender to contemplating it. And as I do, I am reminded of that which I teach yet have lost sight of under the heavy shadow of the reality I just saw.
I had forgotten that joy is not a privileged state. It lives within every human being and can be found again.
I had forgotten that joy has the power to set us free.
How would the world look like if everyone had access joy?
I can see it now. It would not be a world of suffering and injustice. It would be a world of connection, collaboration, love.
So maybe, just maybe, in bringing the awareness of joy to the world, I am not completely wasting the life that was given to me? I cautiously open to the possibility, with a new question:
What can I do to help? In actuality, not just as a nice philosophy?
I do not help by taking more suffering upon myself, I know so much. Also, I do not help by turning my back on suffering either. I’m asking myself again:
How can joy help, concretely?
I have seen situations where joy helped. I have seen joy relieve pain, physical, emotional and mental. I have even seen joy prevent suicide. And I know that the experience of joy isn’t limited to a special, privileged group of people.
If we dedicate ourselves to bringing the awareness, the tools and the support to the world, eventually joy will resonate around the globe. And as it does, there will be a growing realization of our connection and of Oneness. And with that an expansion of our capabilities to show concern and to help. Because people who believe in Oneness have compassion for those outside of their immediate circle.
Yes, there are ways for me and you to contribute. And no, it’s not all on my shoulders, or yours. And yes, every life matters.
It matters in the world that we live in and it matters because, in truth, as we change our world changes. And as it spreads, joy can reach the entire world, not just the privileged one percent.
This is a big vision, I know. But it’s real enough for me to leave the movie theater, to go back to the privileged life of mine and to use it for something good.
If you haven’t yet please join us in the Joy Keepers Network here.