Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Joy

"Real joy seems dissonant from the human character in its present condition; and if it be felt, it must come from a higher region, for the world is shadowed by sorrow; thorns array the ground; the very clouds, while they weep fertility on our mountains, seem also to shed a tear on man’s grave who departs, unlike the beauties of summer, to return no more; who fades unlike the sons of the forest, which another summer beholds new clothed, when he is unclothed and forgotten." - Dwight Douglas Andrews

"Gratitude is a soil on which joy thrives." - Berthold Auerbach

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" -

"Man cannot live by bread alone. The making of money, the accumulation of material power, is not all there is to living. Life is something more than these, and the man who misses this truth misses the greatest joy and satisfaction that can come into his life - service for others." - Edward William Bok

"Not only is there a right to be happy, there is a duty to be happy. So much sadness exists in the world that we are all under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers." - Abel Bonnard

"Repentance should be attained through joy." -

"What happiness is, no person can say for another. But no one, I am convinced, can be happy who lives only for himself. The joy of living comes from immersion in something we know to be bigger, better, more enduring and worthier than we are." -

"To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind." - Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

"There is no peace except where I am, saith the Lord... As space spreads everywhere, and all things move and change within it, but it moves not nor changes, so I am the space within the soul, of which the space without is but the similitude and mental image; cometh thou to inhabit me, thou hast the entrance to all life - death shall no longer divide thee from whom thou lovest. I am the sun that shines upon all creatures from within - gazest thou upon me thou shalt be filled with joy eternal. Be not deceived. Soon this outer world shall drop off - thou shalt slough it away as a man sloughs his mortal body. Learn even now to spread thy wings in that other world - the world of equality - to swim in the ocean, my child, of me and my love. (Ah! have I not taught thee by the semblance of this outer world, but its alienations and deaths and mortal sufferings - all for this? For joy, ah! joy unutterable!)" -

"When one lives a life focused on gaining, wisdom, his entire life is full of joy and happiness." - Yehuda Leib Chasman

"Be careful that joy does not turn into frivolity which leads to transgressing." - Chayim of Volozhin, also Chaim ben Yuitzchok of Volozhin or Chaim Ickovits NULL

"There is no greater joy for a wise man than the joy of improving his character traits." - Chazon Ish, named Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz

"Whatever a person does without enthusiasm and joy is not truly considered doing. When a person lacks joy for what he is doing, everything he does will be difficult for him and he will not do it properly." - Avraham Moshe Chevroni

"Words cannot express the joy which a friend imparts; they only can know who have experienced. A friend is dearer than the light of heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were exhausted than that we should be without friends." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"Courage takes many forms. there is physical courage, there is moral courage. Then there is a still higher type of courage - the courage to brave pain, to live with it, to never let others know of it and to still find joy in life; to wake up in the morning with an enthusiasm for the day ahead." - Howard Cosell, fully Howard William Cosell, born Howard William Cohen

"When all our hopes are gone 'tis well our hands must still keep toiling on for others' sake. For strength to bear is found in duty alone, and he is blest indeed who learns to make the joy of others cure his own heartache." - M. V. Drake

"The joy that is lasting and grows continuously is the joy of performing good deeds." - Y. Eibeschuetz

"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs." - Albert Einstein

"It is in those acts called trivialities that the seeds of joy are forever wasted, until men and women look around with haggard faces at the devastation their own waste has made, and say the earth bears no harvest of sweetness, calling their denial knowledge." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"There are robberies that leave man and woman forever beggared of peace and joy, yet kept secret by the sufferer." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go." -

"What are the qualities of Life? It can be shared forever, but cannot be kept forever. When given to another, it brings great joy to all; when taken, the anguish for many is great. It is sometimes maintained by less than the thread of a string and sometimes lost despite the hopes of millions. Its frailty and end are obvious, but its strength and limits endless. So share your life with me while we are together so we can create that which will bring joy to others. When this life is over, let the meaning of our lives be found not on a list of accomplishments, but in the hearts and souls of the people with whom we shared our fragile existence. Let our lives not be measured by what we did for others, but by what we helped people do for themselves." - Mike Gass, fully Michael A. Gass

"What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm miracles can happen. When we do our work with a dynamic conquering spirit we get things done." - Arland Gilbert

"The silent influence of books, is a mighty power in the world; and there is a joy in reading them known only to those who read them with desire and enthusiasm. Silent, passive, and noiseless though they be, they yet set in action countless multitudes and change the order of nations." - Henry Giles

"To love one who loves you, to admire one who admires you, in a word to be the idol of one’s idol - is exceeding the limit of human joy; it is stealing fire from heaven, and deserves death." - Madame Émile de Girardin, Delphine de Girardin, née Gay

"What our deepest self craves is not mere enjoyment, but some supreme purpose that will enlist all our powers and will give unity and direction to our life. We can never know the profoundest joy without a conviction that our life is significant - not a meaningless episode. The loftiest aim of human life is the ethical perfecting of mankind - the transfiguration of humanity." - Henry J. Golding

"All times are great exactly in proportion as men feel, profoundly, their indebtedness to something or other... A feeling of immeasurable obligation puts life into a man and fight into him, and joy into him." - David Grayson, pseudonym of Ray Stannard Baker

"A person who is sincerely humble will be constantly happy. A humble person realizes that nothing is owed him, and therefore feels satisfied with what he has. He does not raise his sights to receive what is above him. He constantly has peace of mind and always feels the joy of life." - Rabbi Chayim Meir Hagar

"Whole years of joy glide unperceived away, while sorrow counts the minutes as they pass." - William Havard

"Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts; not amidst joy." - Felicia Hemans, fully Felicia Dorothea Browne Hemans

"In building a firm foundation for Success, here are a few stones to remember: The wisdom of preparation. The value of confidence. The worth of honesty. The privilege of working. The discipline of struggle. The magnetism of character. The radiance of health. The forcefulness of simplicity. The winsomeness of courtesy. The attractiveness of modesty. The inspiration of cleanliness. The satisfaction of serving. The power of suggestion. The buoyancy of enthusiasm. The advantage of initiative. The virtue of patience. The rewards of co-operation. The fruitfulness of perseverance. The sportsmanship of losing. The joy of winning." - Rollo C. Hester

"The secret isolated joy of the thinker, who knows that, a hundred years after he is dead and forgotten, men whoever heard of him will be moving to the measure of his thought." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"No greater joy than to resolve a doubt." - J. Y. Hurwitz

"The righteous will always feel joy and never feel sad about what the Almighty has decreed upon them because they realize whatever He does is for their ultimate best." - Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra, also known as Ben Ezra or Abenezra

"If you had been looking for happiness in people and events, you discovered that it is not there. If you look to outer circumstances for your satisfaction cues, you will stay on an emotion seesaw... True joy is actually part of your nature... Events merely give us an excuse to feel it." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"We all have a gift. Each of us is born with something unique to express, to do, to become. It is your responsibility to discover your unique gift... Once having been discovered, the gift is developed and nurtured and then it is given back... Real joy comes from giving back, from being authentically you and sharing that authenticity with those around you." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"If I do not feel a sense of joy in God’s creation, if I forget to offer the world back to God with thankfulness, I have advanced very little upon the Way. I have not yet learned to be truly human. For it is only through thanksgiving that I can become myself." - Saint John of Kronstadt, fully John Il’ich Serguiev, aka Holy Father John of the Kronstadt NULL

"Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified. He that labors in any great or laudable undertaking has his fatigues first supported by hope and afterwards rewarded by joy." -

"Your success and happiness lie in you. External conditions are the accidents of life. The great enduring realities are love and service. Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow. Resolve to keep happy and your joy in you shall form an invincible host against difficulty." - Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

"We believe that all men somehow possess a divine potentiality... We reject the tired dualism that seeks God and human potentialities in denying the joy of the senses." - George Leonard, fully George Burr Leonard

"Strength through joy." -

"Joy does not come from outside, for whatever happens to us, it is within... Light does not come to us from without. Light is in us, even if we have no eyes." - Jacques Lusseyran

"It is a true observation of ancient writers, that as men are apt to be cast down by adversity, so they are easily satiated with prosperity, and that joy and grief produce the same effects. For whenever men are not obliged by necessity to fight they fight from ambition, which is so powerful a passion in the human breast that however high we reach we are never satisfied." - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness is in itself an act of happiness. It is the flower of a long inner life of joy and contentment; it tells of peaceful hours and days on the sunniest heights of our soul... No reward coming after the event can compare with the sweet reward that went with it." - Maurice Maeterlinck, fully Count Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck

"A great deal of the joy of life consists in doing perfectly, or at least to the best of one's ability, everything which one attempts to do... The smallest thing well done, becomes artistic." -

"Contentment furnishes constant joy; much covetousness, constant grief. To the contented, even poverty is joy; to the discontented, even wealth is a vexation." - William Milne

"Contentment furnishes constant joy. Much covetousness, constant grief. To the contented, even poverty is joy. To the discontented, even wealth is a vexation." - Ming Sum Paou Keën

"Repentance should be with joy. If repentance is sincere, the person will be joyful even though he is humble. If repentance is insincere, the person will be depressed and irritable and will react with anger toward people who speak with him." - Mordechai of Lekhivitz NULL