A Scholar On Joy


“Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”

Joseph Campbell


I always wondered who coined the catchy phrase, “follow your bliss.”  The complexity of thought in these three simple words strikes to the core of our being.  Most of us have a reasonable understanding of what “following” means. The problem – “bliss” is difficult to describe because of its transitory nature.   Everyone has a uniquely personal definition.

Joseph John Campbell, American mythologist, anthropologist, writer, lecturer and the author of that expression, believed it was possible to “follow your bliss.”  Indeed, his life is a testament to the truth of that statement.  As a child, growing up in White Plains, New York, he became fascinated by First Nation artifacts    This fascination transitioned into a life-long passion for mapping the interconnected linkages that exists across the spectrum of mythology and religion. Joseph Campbell acknowledged the inevitability of sorrow and pain in the human experience.  Even so, living in joy is a choice.

The scholar has spoken: Joy is our choice.