A Note from Julie: Experience Collective Joy

Collective Joy

Have you ever experienced Collective Joy? 

I guarantee you have. 

How many people raise their hands together and cheer after a Superbowl win? Or think about when you’ve sung along with 20,000 strangers at a concert, yelled SURPRISE at a friend’s birthday party, or danced with friends and family at your wedding. All of these experiences are collective joy. Joy you’ve shared with numerous people, some you know, some complete strangers – but shared nonetheless. 

The effects of collective joy has lingering effects. We hold onto that feeling of connectedness long after the event has passed. 

If we can share joy with large numbers of complete strangers, shouldn’t we be able to share joy with anyone we meet? Are there snippets of joy that we can create with the people around us in our everyday life? 

I was recently at a holiday gala. Before leaving for the night, I visited the ladies room. In the ladies room was a petite older woman cleaning the countertops. There were a few ladies in the bathroom at the same time as me, I noticed that not one person said hello to the cleaning lady – they acted like she wasn’t there. 

I think in this day in age, with how busy we all are, most of us are just dying to be seen. To move our interactions from social platforms into the real life. To have real human connection.

“How are you today?” I asked. 

She looked up in surprise, then hesitation as she tried to tell me that she didn’t speak English very well. 

I responded that I didn’t speak Spanish very well, but I could try. I asked her how her day was, and when she would get to go home. She said she was leaving at 10:00 (pm). I said that was late. She shook her head and said yes.

I told her to have a good rest of the night. And then getting my “happy days” confused I said Feliz Cupleanos (Happy Birthday) and she laughed and responded Feliz Navidad. 

I threw my head back and howled with laughter at my mistake, responding Si, Si, Feliz Navidad. 

And that’s when it happened, we gave each other a hug. Me and the cleaning lady – one moment of collective joy between the two of us. A moment that still makes me smile, and could have so easily never happened at all.  

We can find moments of collective joy in each of our days. If we pick our heads up from our phones long enough to see the real people in our world everyday. If we take a moment to see and be seen. 

My hope for you this holiday season is that you can create moments of collective joy both big and small. 

Feliz Navidad & Cheers,
Julie B

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