On Joy and Sorrow
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
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I believe I was in college the first time I read this. Immediately, I knew it would be one of my favorite pieces of literature. It just resonated within me right away. Suddenly, a lot of things made sense.
Like why those who you care about the most can cause you so much pain. Or when you look back to good memories, there’s also a tinge of sadness. And how can you appreciate happiness if you’ve never felt sorrow?
The more hardships people go through, the more they appreciate life when it gets better.
Let’s remember that both joy and sorrow are vital to our growth as a person.