Bit-of-Joy #14

Joy comes when you learn more about what you passionately love to do. – Lorrin L. Lee

Today our family will attend the graduation ceremony for our eldest son who has completed his Masters’ degree – after a less than typical and sometimes arduous journey through the U.S. education system. [Note the sweatshirt: he is actually graduating from Notre Dame University]

But what has come from this journey – and somewhat despite it – is an awareness of his passion for poverty alleviation through education reform.

Several years ago he shared with his younger brother and sister an attitude that helped him direct his educational path (that he’d heard somewhere along the way): Stop asking what you want to ‘be’ or ‘do’ when you grow up. Ask yourself what you believe is wrong in the world and what you can do to change it.

In other words, what difference can you make in the world?

In this bit-of-joy series, many quotes have focused on the ideas of being still and present in the moment – accepting what is, perhaps because by midlife we are leaving the need to ‘save the world’ to the younger folks.

But today’s thought encourages activity – what do we love to do? In this doing, we find joy.

What do you passionately love to do that brings you joy?



  1. I understand and applaud your son’s sense of mission. I remember feeling exactly that way up until around age 50. From 50 onwards, one of my favourite quotations of all times has been the reverse of your son’s sentiment – “Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
    Either approach brings us to joy. Congratulations on this joyful day.


    • Karen – I’d have to say I’m right there with you! I’ve often said the 20-30s are for saving the world, 30-40s are for raising children who will take their turn to save the world. Thank you for your congratulations.


  2. beautiful attitude your son – all the best to him in pursuing that which he loves most…
    today I attended a picnic in a forest scheduled for logging that local people wish to prevent and the usual talk of writing letters media petitions etc bla bla went on – all good but dissatisfying for me anyway . I took my grandson -seven and a half. me and a couple of friends organised a very simple prayer ceremony – it was beautiful and is what I love to do – my grandsons prayer was I hope the forest doesn’t get chopped down… I hope for him too.


  3. So wonderful that he made it (despite the education system?) and that he’s following his heart and wanting to make a difference in the world – that would bring joy to any mother’s heart!


    • Leanne – indeed despite the education system. He actually struggled to find programs to fit him because he was too advanced — he graduated from high school at 15, college at 18, and just completed his Masters at 21. Keeping him jumping through the hoops of the system even though so much was ‘review’ was challenging. Now he’s got his whole life before him….


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