Bit-of-Joy #6

To get joy, we must give joy and to keep joy we must scatter joy.John Templeton

A number of years ago in Chicago, a Christmas time billboard advertising the lottery read, “JOY SOMEONE.”

I loved the phrase instantly. Given the trend of turning nouns into verbs, I thought what better word than JOY.

I’d never heard of John Templeton until I found this in my search for quotes on joy, but the concept of scattering joy struck me – and reminded me of the phrase ‘joy someone’.

To scatter is to disperse or to spread something randomly. I think of the dill, the mint, and the pansies that are scattered throughout my garden – driving my neighbor crazy (see my post from May: Dirty Hands) but making me smile.


In recent years, I’ve lost my natural tendency to choose, give, and scatter joy – and must be far more intentional in my efforts. But today — today I reclaim this piece of me.

Today I choose to scatter joy. 

How about you – does choosing, giving, and even scattering joy come easily to you? 



  1. I’m not quite sure what it would look like to scatter joy. Joy seems to me to be so much deeper and much more deeply individual than happiness. When we scatter it, are we looking for other people to feel joy? Is that even possible?
    Sorry, Janet. I’ve just done a couple of hours of memoir writing, retrieving things from when I was 6-10 years of age. I think I’m being thick about the quote. Maybe if I look at it again later I’ll ‘get it’. 🙂


    • Karen – no worries. Not every thought will resonate with every person. As I was writing the post I was remembering my late teens when I would take moments to jot a note of encouragement to a friend, buy a Hallmark card to send just because, turn somersaults in the park….I think for me, scattering joy is about getting outside of myself and being spontaneous.


  2. If I’m honest, I’d have to say no. I’m not really a joyous person nor one that most people seek out for coffee. I do try to join but too often, that’s the end of it! I don’t mind. I have a wonderful husband and my writing.


  3. I think I might be a little too good at this. Because I can get a lot of joy out of doing things that make others happy and it’s often so easy for me to do, I wonder at times if I have crossed the line from helping someone out to enabling them instead. I can get taken for granted eventually, and it’s upsetting when I don’t get the same thoughtful treatment back – I don’t need tit for tat, but once in a damn while would be nice. It’s something that I realize I need to work on. File this under learning to say NO.


    • Deb – I totally understand that line between helping and enabling. We sometimes feel selfish when we say ‘no’ but I think if we step back to look at the bigger picture, not the immediate situation the ‘no’ becomes easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love to think I’ve spread some joy to others Janet and it warms my soul when I see them smile. Sometimes, like Deb in her comment, it feels like the joy is being spread one way only and then out of the blue it is returned which makes my day. For example, yesterday a blogging friend left a beautiful message for me on my FB group page. It made my day and was totally unexpected. I certainly felt the joy. Have a beautiful day, Janet x


  5. well janet tis an interesting one today – my initial reaction was yes scatter joy like seeds and watch them pop up in the hearts of those around you. then I read the comments and thought some more – I am quite adept at giving – it comes easily these days from a deep foundation of gratitude I reckon but how do I know if what I plant or scatter is felt as joy by another. it seems to me that in some ways I cannot know this – inspire uplift all those things but they do not necessarily provoke joy. to me joy has such a depth a wisdom even and when I am in the Presence of it I have no need to express it – seems to be more a State of ..???!!! .really I have run of words to describe…
    love these snippets janet thank you


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