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Harnessing Joy for the Betterment of Our World

by Elsa Chahin
September/October 2021
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/harnessing-joy-for-the-betterment-of-our-world/5026154/

The late, great mythologist and professor of literature Joseph Campbell once said, 

“Find a place inside where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” 

While this may sound rudimentary, the eternal quest for joy—experiencing great pleasure and happiness—has shown to be elusive for many.

How then, can we know the deep feeling that joy brings to our lives? For me, it has been my work through the late Dr. Emmi Pikler, who not only invited us to experience joy through her teachings and philosophy of one-on-one caregiving, but also, in the process, helped establish a path that allows parent, caregiver and child to thrive, and to be empathic. 

In today’s fast-paced world, with its 24-hour news cycles, the prevalence of social media and a hyper-partisan atmosphere run rampant, the ability to slow down, take a deep breath and, well, smell the roses, may be a far cry from the universe of Dr. Pikler. Yet, by understanding and practicing her precepts, we realize that joy is within reach—that it is, in fact, absolutely attainable. We may covet instant gratification, the quick fix, through material things—hello Amazon Prime!—but the monetization of emotions through the acquisition of stuff is ...

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