The price of joy

What are the things you enjoy a lot?

Is it food, fresh air, freedom, a hobby or are these things that cost a lot of money which will make you happy or so you think? Such as, new dress, shoes, boots, designer purse, perfume, new car, great vacation, superb house?

Maybe, you get most excited when you have managed something which seemed impossible before? For instance, speaking or understanding a new language, being able to play a new music instrument, or a successfully written poem or story, creation of new artwork?

Joy is the most direct way to happiness. We should save happiness for the very special moments and have plenty of joy at other times.

Do you still recall how little you had to spend when you were kid 30, 40, 50, 60 or more years ago? And, imagine how much one needs to spend nowadays to make a kid happy.
Lots of questions with all kinds of possible answers.

The truth is, however, that the price of joy has gone up a lot and keeps doing so. That is what we have come to believe in: if we cannot buy everything that somebody else has, we are somewhat less and worse.

Let us reword the question:

what is the one thing that would make you happy for the rest of your life?
Do you know the answer?

I guess it could be many different pleasant things and experiences.

You are only allowed to give one answer, however. Tough, right?

Majority most likely will choose “love”, “health”, “wealth”, “staying young” and any of these choices are great, but being rich is simply the best. The joy costs a lot nowadays.

Who says you cannot experience the joy for free?

You sure can, for example, watching sunsets and sunrises, blossoming trees and rainbows and so on; yet, you still need to satisfy the basic necessities to feel happy, to have peace of mind and to experience the joy. Nobody will be too joyfully watching all the most beautiful things on Earth if they are hungry, sick, in pain, lonely or depressed. I dare saying, that having the basic things are probably a good base for having a joyful life.

Being alive is already great

Many of us are very happy to be simply alive and that is a joy to start a day with, realizing that you still have this day and you woke up ok. I’m at such age that it is definitely a great experience.

People like me feel perfect if they can have their morning coffee. Try not to give it to me!

Lots of people do not care what the place is or where the place is, they live at, as long as there is a place.

Lots of people don’t give anything about how the food looks and how healthy it is as long as there is some food.

Ultimate joy

So, what’s the deal with tiny portions of extra special food served on golden plates at a crazy cost? The deal is that this is supposed to make somebody really happy, give them the ultimate joy.

Lots of people go out of their way to make their totally boring life somewhat exciting.

We need some joy regardless of its price, and there are these advertising guys who tell you to just buy and buy more, and maybe you will have a flash of joy for a tiny moment, too.

Joy from recreational stuff

People in Canada are able to turn themselves into cannabis lovers also. So, to speak, add a little healing joy to the boring day.

It is supposed to be recreational marihuana that one can eat, drink, vape or smoke, and all of a sudden smoking is presented as something good when you listen to people advertising it. The truth is: everything that burns and is inhaled has the same effect. Medical marihuana is supposed to cure and treat numerous conditions which nobody has ever proven for a few reasons: there is no point to prove something using a substance or its products that are available everywhere, and there is no long term research data available also because using cannabis was a crime before. Just like with everything, cannabis use has many aspects and not all of them will be beneficial.

The price of joy became the price of addiction at some point.

When the kid has fallen on the floor in the store and screams from the bottom of his or her lungs, that is an attempt to violently achieve the feeling of joy. Well, mom buys that stuff kid wanted and kid’s smile stretches all over the face now.

When we get what we want, what we believe we want or need, or what we are addicted to, we are experiencing the ultimate joy which almost equals to happiness. So, the price of joy will vary. If you can buy it because some joyful things are not for sale.

As it appears, the price of joy has a huge range: from no cost to any money imaginable and unimaginable.

Our experience shows that most things we can buy, and their price will be the cost of our joy: new face, new body shape, excellent outfits, excellent living conditions, new devices, extraordinary cars, outstanding vacations and so forth.

Our experience also shows that one cannot buy true love, respect, trust, passion, talent, skills, knowledge, memories and experience. I think this is more than we need to be happy because we can have that all if we are willing to put in some effort.

Thankfully, nobody can buy talent so far. With genetic engineering developing at a fast pace, it is probably a near future, too.

Red color of flowers

True joy and purchased joy

We need them both. We need lots of things to simply live, but when it comes to true and long-lasting joy, let’s look for it in ourselves. We should find there plenty, and especially love, respect, trust, passion, talent, skills, knowledge, memories and experience as I mentioned before.

I’m using for illustrations the bouquet my husband just gave me. Excellent source of joy!

Wishing you plentiful joys regardless of what the day (or night) has served you so far!

Thanks for reading!

40 thoughts on “The price of joy

  1. theburningheart

    I guess to claim to pursue Arete as a guide to conduct your life, it’s something few people now day, worry or cares about.
    Using arete as a principle for living life means that you are focused on the quality of everything you do and experience in life, as you suggest in your post, when our contemporary culture if we can call it as such, is mainly focused on the satisfaction of our lower needs, such as money, objects, gadgets, and entertainment, rather than the seeking of life Wisdom and Equanimity.

    Nice post Inese. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s exactly it: the contemporary culture is a consumer’s culture where the things we have, must have or are supposed to have will make one’s life very fulfilled, joyful and free of problems.
      Look at influencer movement; they demonstrate what they have and if you get one or another thing, you will look as great and be as adorable. The problem is in the fact that the system has equalized belongings and entertainment with purpose of life.
      On the other hand, the high number of mental disease cases, all the time growing army of heavily depressed people and social movements which demonstrate dissatisfaction pretty much reveal that we are on a wrong path. Well, when we talk unfairness in life, we first of all refer to ability to own and have things, not to the ability and power of human mind. We pretty much don’t work like you said towards quality of experiences and self-development. We expect that to arise from satisfaction with having everything we are supposed to have.
      Reality shows we need adjustment of priorities, goals, means and, maybe then, we will get to better outcomes. Pandemic revealed all the ugliness of our assumptions and how what we thought was right didn’t work at all.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. theburningheart

        Things to get, are like toys to children, they entertain you, for some time, then you grow up, and they seat abandoned in a box, or you get rid of them.
        Meanwhile the cultivation of virtues should be the goal of any individual, like a moral goal, such as faith, love, charity, wisdom, honesty, truthfulness, etc. To acquire and treasure, the rest it’s as said by Ecclesiastes: Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

        Take care Inese. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In spite of knowing that we lose whatever belongs to us, most people will suffer a lot and sacrifice plenty to just have more. If we look at crimes, don’t most of them relate to greed? So, people will go far to have more.
        I think the entire perception of virtues has changed, and since we can be anybody online and nobody might ever know the actual face of that person who’s such an outstanding personality, we tend to be showing off. Showing off requires having what to show off.
        If you pay attention, many try to establish the purpose of human life and tackle the most important aspects of it. However, they’ve always been straight at our fingertips and directly before our eyes. To stay focused on bettering oneself as opposed to improving material, financial and living conditions, goes frequently unnoticed. Therefore, it feels somebody has achieved nothing if they don’t have a proof to show for their outstanding status in a way of their belongings, properties, financial wealth and so forth.
        I have met on WordPress quite a few genuinely great people, and then, there are many who pretend being such great, honest, caring personalities. One can clearly read between lines and discover somebody writing what’s correct at the moment and what’s trending.
        I always value your input via comments!
        Thank you very much and have a great week ahead of you!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. theburningheart

        Well, most people we are poor, and try to present the best of ourselves, lacking any other qualities to show, they want to show what they own, or enjoy, or wish to, since we can’t really know their real circumstances, we are all poor, compared to someone else, but the important thing it’s to be happy with our lot, or work as hell to change it. Showing it off, one of our too Human weakness.

        Best wishes, Inese. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think we can see on WordPress lots of people with talents, really lots of talents and many people. I would say that is a good thing when we show what we can. Like you are in so much philosophy, poetry, there many story tellers, people writing all kinds of books, brochures, etc. On blogs, it’s less of demonstrating oneself, but rather what we do.
        In comparison, social media sites are more for consumers and more consumption, and every single one tries to implement selling things, too.
        It’s not that everybody analyzes whether that’s the product which is good or the good one is the famous person who demonstrates it.
        Well, social media sites try to convince us that we can buy all joys and happiness if we get one or another thing as opposed to live with what you have and develop yourself. It’s certainly not one size fits everybody. Our values are always so distinctive and our backgrounds, as well.
        It’s simply such a time which outlined our shortages and abundance of what doesn’t help at all as the new model of living reveals. I don’t think anybody will be smarter after this pandemic is over, but everybody will feel relieved. We are used to freedom and we should not take it for granted.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. theburningheart

        In all honesty except for WordPress, and Twitter the last, a bad idea from a friend who help me to open the account allegedly to boost my traffic at my blog, that I just start it, at the time, I do not know why I keep the account going, but I rarely go into it anymore, and yes a few people once in a while find my blog on twitter, but very seldom, I have being reluctant to join Facebook for years, I may do it at some point to keep contact with my children, and grandchildren, who of course they do not have an electronic email address considered that antiquated, they are scattered all over, I keep contact through the phone, but I still do not own a smart phone, and do not want to start with it, you are talking to a cave man by today standards, I threw my TV about sixteen years ago due, that the only way to watch it was to pay for cable, I figured did not need to pay for the only channel I watched PBS, when their antenna was about seven blocks from my house, well I was wrong, I couldn’t get the signal at all, so got rid of the TV, and up to today my computer, and a telephone line, my only contact with the outside World.
        Best wishes Inese. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You haven’t lost anything by doing so. Although, we have TV and all kinds of other things, like we always needed phones, but there’s more intrusion than one can tolerate. I find that there’s hardly anything to watch on TV. Very rare movies are ok, but then again, i don’t have time to watch them.
        I also have been wondering why i need the Twitter account since I never look at it, never update it and never check out. It looks good on the side of my blogs showing images and post headings, that’s all, but I think I will get rid of it when I make more changes to art website and lifeschool blog.
        I agree that Facebook has become one big advertising machine. I do keep that account because of their Messenger. That way I can talk to my daughter and grandsons, as well as sister and her family, and it’s all free and we can see everything and can show each other everything. I just was contacted by a friend wo I hadn’t met for 40 years since we were both in our twenties. That type of thing. Other than that, I’ve really lost any intention to post on Facebook. I never got Instagram because initially it was only phone based app, and my problem is I can hardly see anything on the phone, so I don’t use it like other people use for everything. I discovered that my old Canon camera still takes much better pictures than iPhone, so I will be using it even less.
        One big part of all problems people are facing is their dependence and addiction to devices. While they’re helpful to some extent, the harm they cause is undeniable also.
        That’s why I like blogs and talking to likeminded people: there is meaningful content and meaningful exchange of ideas and thoughts. You cannot find that on other socially available sites where everything is pure advertising and profitmaking from sales.
        It is so refreshing to have the ability to tackle conversations which cover broad area of life and human mind.
        To me, reading 1 real book is worth 10 movies if not more. I basically always prefer reading (but not on computer) to watching.
        Take care!


      7. theburningheart

        I find reading is a wonderful gift, but now an occupation that seems not important to many, following the electronic zeitgeist of the moment, do not misunderstand i love the computer, it’s a wonderful instrument, but in my opinion misused. Instead of searching for good stuff, people use it for cheap entertainment, to each its own I guess.
        I used to love movies when young, now most put me to sleep!
        You cannot beat a good book!
        Take care Inese!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I couldn’t agree more. Computers and phones are fine as long as we don’t try to live within them. yes, they are used too much and for this not-that-great entertainment.
        Somehow, it’s understood that everything must be fun and entertainment. It’s like all week is days off and weekend is the same, and no special joy because of that.
        I’m just finishing reading one more book, it’s late, almost midnight. I don’t read serious books at night. Something which makes me either laugh or causes thrills.
        You, too take care and stay safe!


  2. We also focus on doing things rather than consuming. Joy, pleasure, happiness and a feeling of thriving come from doing things, accomplishing a task, and not from being passive and consuming, as you seem to think as well. B.t.w. we don’t do drugs either. It’s so sad, that people still get tricked into believing they get joy, genuine pleasure or “spiritual awakening” through drugs! What a trfap that is! greetings from Liv from Scandinavia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liv!
      Oh, we have big addiction problems in Canada with people dying every day and overdosing, etc. It’s interesting how they get that stuff in if all borders are closed. maybe they manufacture that stuff right here, who knows.
      Lots of things drive the wrong approach message. I have read how mothers were desperate since they had no means to throw a big party for their 7 or 8 year old kids, or how people are really upset when they cannot have the things which are trending. One would think at least pandemic has more or less pointed out what’s overboard and unnecessary, but it doesn’t seem so. There is a very strong undercurrent which just pushes and pushes one to buy more.
      It’s an interesting time we live in, but we cannot go on like this forever. I believe things will change, and more decisive return to natural and nature is on its way.
      You live in nice settings over there, and I cannot complain either. But imagine people who have to live or have chosen so in the high-rises in the middle of a city with 6-8 million people where they never get to breathe good air and come in touch with the soil? Parks are great, but can they absorb all exhausts and all chemicals which harm us?
      I was reviewing a research which was aimed at showing that even artificial light is bad for humans. Now, imagine all artificial things we are using.
      I appreciate your comment! Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Consumerism is probably the main global feature now. We are society to which everything is for sale, unfortunately.
        I also like traveling in the old fashioned way, when I go somewhere and can stay for a while. I was laughing when one couple told us they had travelled all around Europe in 3 weeks. You just go through cities and town, see the biggest attractions and rush to another place.
        I think the only place where one can take a break from rush is the garden.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly, it’s because of the travel-attitude that we also lots interest in our B&B. People have become so abusive – towards others, towards the world and towards themselves. Rushing through Europe, just so you can say you’ve been there… what’s the point?
        I think people think, everything is for sale – yet decent values, dignity, love, integrity and a good conscience can’t be bought.
        Yes, one’s own home and garden are a good place to find peace, be must protect and cherish that

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I can relate still to the old-fashioned traveling. You go somewhere and then you spend some time there exploring the local settings, life, traditions, food, architecture, habits, people, nature and so forth.
        When I relocated to Canada, I found out that this way of traveling is practically not an option. Well, there are benefits and drawbacks. If I cannot spend at least a few weeks in one spot, it’s impossible to paint and draw much. At some this just driving more and rushing through more places becomes very difficult. I remember how tired I was after these vacations because it was big rushing to another mountain, another place of attraction. On the other hand, I had a chance to visit places which I wouldn’t be able to.
        I’m kind of old-fashioned in many regards. Therefore, I love when I go to Latvia and don’t have to do much sightseeing, but I can simply take my time.
        B&B might become good business again once the pandemic is over. Dealing with people of different backgrounds, ages, nationalities, etc. is difficult whatever way we put it. Some have very surrealistic illusions nowadays, and they believe what they’ve seen on the internet, is the reality which it very often isn’t. That leads to disappointments.
        Rushing through everything, including life and space, is how we live now, and regretfully so.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You’re not going to believe this: tourism did extremely well here last year, it’s just us who didn’t want to be part of spreading the virus. We kept it closed and told everyone who called that that they should be ashamed of themselves for traveling during a pandemic. Of course that’s not good for business. But who cares about business when people are dying!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That is hard to believe. Where I live in Ontario, you cannot have anything open even if you very much want that. Fines are hefty. I suppose, we wouldn’t even need any drastic measures if everybody did their part.
        Pfizer started to speak about the 3rd dose today, apparently, we cannot exclude that the new types of virus might not go away with the basic vaccine.
        I was thinking today how bad our income recently has been. Mine was zero, so I get taxes back, but how long will I do what I’m doing? Still, I will try whatever, it’s just so that nothing is happening. Oh well, we will certainly survive, but it really takes a lot of caution in all regards.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s even harder to believe that the mayor has been proudly announcing the results of the tourism industry in our area! Just can’t believe at all, how insane some of it is that is happening and how ruthless people are. The Danish prime-minister had made the right choices about a year ago, by closing everything down and she said it would stay closed until everyone was vaccinated, but then so many people stabbed her into the back, until everything was opened again, and now they’re once again pushing her to open everything up again, so sick and so irresponsible!
        Re income: as you can imagine, we also had zero from the B&B, but luckily we still have other income, but for how long… who knows
        Another thing you might not believe: Real-estate prices have also risen 25% in our area because of the crisis and agents have run out of houses to sell – insane.
        Do you have a link re what you wrote about Pfizer? Because I thought, that the spikes would also cover the Southafrican and the Southamerican variant..

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Sounds crazy, but I think that’s happening everywhere. One authority blames another, and altogether, there is only one smart way about it, literally, stay at home, don’t travel until most people are vaccinated. Politics don’t really care about health but about their ratings and chance to get reelected after their term is up.
        The same about housing is reported here, and I cannot put it together. It says most people can hardly survive with all job losses and closed businesses, but house prices are up big time. So, who is buying them all? It must be so that some particular group is making huge money out of everybody else’s misery.
        About Pfizer, I just saw this on news when I was briefly in the living room. I don’t have a link, but you could search for “third dose, Pfizer vaccine” or something like that. There are lots of unknowns still because we simply haven’t had enough time to see what works and what doesn’t.
        Have a good evening!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. It is totally crazy. But i think this time around it’s not investors buying them up, it’s ordinary people from the city who long to get out and away from everyone.
        There is however at least one investor, who bought up everything on an island south of us when prices were low and he is of course now making a bargain.
        Have a nice afternoon.
        love, Liv

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I find that interesting. The movement here is also out of big city and into the suburbs or even farther out, into the countryside. That is probably excellent for people who get a new home in much better and safer environment.
        The aspect I’m wondering about is that the housing prices are at their peak. Everybody who works is subsidized by the Canadian government and receives proportional benefits. Many people report absolutely struggling financially because lots of business have closed, many workplaces have been lost, and there is partial closure of some industries, like hospitality, travel, catering and similar. That indicates that income might be at the lowest point it ever was for lots of folks. Yet, it is reported that our housing prices are extra high and any property is sold over asking.
        You, too, have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I guess you have to ask that a banker or a politician. They know why 2+2 is sometimes 0 for them, sometimes 16 or more, depending on who is supposed to benefit from it. Sorry for the sarcasm but it really is hard to believe how sick and criminal and insane some things really are.
        But as for the real-estate-market, well as you know people who own places in the city usually have a lot of money, so if they can get their place sold, it’s a bargain for them to move to the country. That’s what it’s like here in DK. The question is just can they get their places sold first and who buys those – that might really be foreign buyers, who are just investors – and that wouldn’t be good news at all.
        In Germany it’s been like this for a very long time that most people live in flats and don’t own their own home. I think it has crippled the society and robbed people of their goals in life and of a feeling of being responsible for something. Instead they’re all just consumers and working slaves.
        Here in DK most people still own their own house and a lot also have their own business, that keeps people hopeful and more responsible as well. I think that is one of the reasons why DK is considered a happy place. Another one is that it apparently is one of the least corrupt countries.
        However there is not much room for happiness, when people are so insane that they are shouting for a reopening in the middle of a pandemic before everyone is vaccinated!

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I loved Germany a lot when I was in Europe. I’ve lived there for some longer periods, too, but that was like more than 20 years ago. I imagine it’s not what it used to be.
        All my relatives in Latvia have their own houses, including my daughter. We here kind of lost the moment. I suppose, house is out of reach now because they are nothing special, even dysfunctional compared to European houses, with small windows, many, but small rooms. For me, it’s very unsuitable. I paint in daylight only, and it’s difficult to catch such moments. The best was a 180 year old house we were renting for more than 10 years. This one is supposedly high-end, but I mean, it lacks function. We are past 60, so a mortgage for 1 million bucks, that’s the average price here, would be insane if any bank took the risk to issue such to somebody that old. It wouldn’t make much sense now.
        In case of Canada, it is investors from China, India, other far East countries, less from Europe, I think hardly anybody. Investors and speculators run up prices and working people just simply cannot afford them. In 2004 we were trying, but I was so new here that I had no clue what’s what.
        You are very lucky to have your own business, house and garden which is so great.
        Well, at some point we make choices and not all of them are splendid, but we have to live with what we created for ourselves. It is fine so far, but, honestly, I don’t want to think about older age, I just don’t do that because it’s way too scary.
        I know that life isn’t mean, and there is always some route one can take and pursue their intentions.
        Thank you vary much for your comment!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Could you send me a link to the contact-page on your art-site or alternatively contact me on my site under “contact”?
        The reason being, I just can’t get into your art-site. I would love to see it and to look at it on a regular basis, but the reason you don’t find me there, is simply because I for technical reasons can’t get there. I only go into blogs over the follower-list, and sadly it doesn’t show up there.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoy being of service to others, caring for others. That brings me great happiness amid all the chaos of modern life.

    Simple things bring joy. It doesn’t take much. Birdsong, purring cat, flowers, the sky, moon. Too many to name. Each is a gift.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!
      I’m sorry I had no idea there were new comments.
      It’s interesting how WordPress skips notifying me recently, I had missed quite a lot of comments.
      I like exploring some philosophical aspects of well-known and routine life events.
      I’ve worked as a teacher for many decades. After 2004 when I moved from Europe to Canada, I’ve been just self-employed, mostly in medical writing and research, as well as in art. Art related matters are on my other website.
      Thanks for comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We definitely have diversity here.
        Well, I have been residing in Canada for 17 years. It’s not all that great, for instance, cost of living is enormously high, and I as somebody who relocated at middle age (or rather past it), I had hard times adapting because socially everything is different.
        I think I’m looking for areas which are similar to Europe, and, thankfully, there are quite many. Nature is always my main inspiration and I turn to it not only in my paintings, but also for routine purposes: looking for treatments among seeds, roots, weeds, grasses, trees and flowers, as well as growing clean food and as a place where one recharges and relaxes, renews energy.
        Thanks for your comment!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry to hear that you had a hard time transitioning into our neck of the woods; life is not without its challenges eh. On the other hand, you are not alone when it comes to enjoying nature and all its splendour, for I too draw much delight in its many gifts and wonders. Please tell me more about your relationship with nature and how we might better adjust our lifestyles to live in accordance with her. It is my intention to share some personal thoughts tomorrow on the philosophical bearing expressed in Marcus Aurelius’s meditations. The ancient Stoics were big on living in accordance to Nature and still have much to contribute that appears to have yet to take root in the hearts of the populace. Your positive and constructive feedback on my blog is warmly welcomed; the post is to be titled Where Body-&-Mind Meet.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So am I, I’m very big on living in and with nature. I’d say that many posts on this blog talk about exactly that.
        Latvians have a very ancient culture and good understanding of how nature can help one living a balanced and prosperous life. The recent discoveries show that lots of their outfits were made out of tree fiber and grasses, like nettle fiber, etc. I’m talking a few thousands of years ago. Such clothing not only served them in a natural way clothes always do, they also prevented from diseases, as well as cured conditions. That way.
        My grandmother was someone you’d call a healer maybe. Shew knew practically everything about every tree, grass, herb and taught that me. I’ve been using these skills as a supplement to my other medical knowledge which I acquired studying for almost half a century. So, yes, connection with nature runs very deep not only in my family, but many other Latvians. I certainly took this with me as I relocated. And, this knowledge dates back to at least 1000 years BC, so it’s even more ancient.
        I usually check out what other bloggers write, and I’m sure it will be an interesting article on your blog, I am just not sure when I will do that.
        Ok, gotta go. Have a good weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much!
      While that’s true, as I get swiftly past 60, I have realized that having money is also a big fun just because it means so much more freedom. Unfortunately, I realized that too late.
      I’ve been an idealist for the most part of my life, but an idealist with a very strong analytical mind. A contradictory personality strongly and firmly standing on the ground. That comes to expression in my art.
      I certainly wish we all could enjoy free ride to happiness and abandon laws, systems, profits, rankings, obligations and alike.
      Nice hearing from you! Have a good week!


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