Stubborn gladness

Don’t ever let go of joy

Image: Ismael Nieto

“We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.” – Jack Gilbert

I am so grateful to Elizabeth Gilbert for discovering this quote and sharing it with the world. What a treasure it is! Particularly this last line: we must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.

There is so much to ponder within those few words.

First off, it reminds me that joy is a choice.

Happiness is circumstantial and pleasure is fleeting, but joy transcends both our situation and the moment.

Gilbert’s words urge us to not forget to embrace this joy. This gladness. This delight. To not let cynicism erode our enjoyment of life. To not let the temporary shut out our ability to find delight in every given moment.

‘The ruthless furnace of this world’ can eat away at us. It can leave us buried by all that is wrong around us and, indeed, within us. It can, if we let it, burn away all joy. We become consumed by all that’s going on and lose sight of the joy that awaits us in every corner of creation if only we had eyes to see.

So we have to be stubborn. We have to refuse to let go of joy. We have to resist cynicism. We have to stop letting life’s circumstances pull us away from joy. We have to continually choose to accept gladness. Embrace it and never let it go.

Silencing the voices demanding our attention

How to be human