Osmosis is a scientific term describing an occurrence of nature. It is a complicated action not easily explained, but in nature typically refers to one liquid permeating another. It usually happens subtly, without any visible evidence.
Plants absorbing water and minerals is an example of osmosis. The mere presence of these elements around the plant infiltrates it.
Osmosis occurs in the non-molecular realms as well. Surrounding yourself with negative people tends to evoke negative thinking. Conversely, happy individuals with perpetual smiles and quick laughter tend to draw the same from others around them over time.
In sports, team chemistry can make the difference between winning and losing. Adding players with a “winning attitude” and history of success can suddenly transform a moribund team prone to failure. It may not be tangible, but it is a very real phenomenon. Mixing in some seasoned veterans to lead and mentor a group of talented young upstarts is a proven formula for success.
Joy is often like osmosis–it permeates others in a very subtle, invisible way.
It has become clear to me that hanging around joyful people brings me joy!
They view the world through “half full” lenses, recognizing all the reasons for celebration around them. Just as our mission for Joy All Around Us is to call out many reasons for daily joy, those individuals notice the abundant blessings that might be routinely overlooked.
Joyful people are walking “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” mentors without even knowing it. Little things–even big things–don’t get them down or keep them down. Life surely comes with heartaches and challenges, but joyful people rebound quickly.
Joining 50,000 of your closest friends at one of your favorite team’s big games is a great way to rub elbows with joyful people—at least as long as events are going your way. All is fun and games until the other team prevails. The mood shifts abruptly when your team lands on the losing side of the ledger. This type of joy is conditional and can be very fleeting, particularly if your team is not a juggernaut.
My favorite place to surround myself with joyful people is church. Here you find “brothers and sisters” with an undeniable grounding and inner peace. There is nothing like the joy of the Lord residing within you—it sustains and is not conditional.
The more I am around my fellow church members, the more I want to be around them. They radiate warmth and happiness with their smiles, gestures, kind words, and gentle touch. Their joy is infectious, imperceptibly permeating others around them.
Those osmotic recipients, in turn, infect others. Of course, this wonderful phenomenon is not confined to a church setting and follows them wherever they go. Every interaction, smile, and gesture offers an opportunity to spread a little bit of happiness, if not joy.
If you are looking for joy, start hanging out with joyful people. There is surely something to the company you keep. After some time, you may even notice that others are seeking to hang out with you!
This is an excerpt from Gary and Beth Suess’ book Joy All Around Us.
Featured Image by Greg Raines