Do You Add Joy?

On his happiness hour Friday, Dennis Prager asked if you bring joy to people’s lives.

We all know people who bring gloom.

I’m thinking of one person. I can spot him from far away. He is that deformed by his own bad habits. He’s all slumped over and he’s a wreck.

Have you noticed that people with deformed habits of use tend to be unpleasant? And that people who are free flexible and limber in their bodies tend to be good company?

My deformed friend has no interest in examining his habits. He just stalks around, barely able to perform the necessary tasks of daily life. To get through an ordinary day takes great effort. He brings gloom wherever he goes. Nobody wants to hang out with him.

And get this — almost all of his problems are solvable. He does’t have to walk around stooped. He doesn’t need to compress his neck and spine and torso. He doesn’t need to gasp for breath when he speaks. He doesn’t need to live in an ever-tightening strait-jacket of bad habits.

With 30 Alexander Technique lessons, he’d let go of many of his deformed habits of compression that so debauch his kinesthesia and his dealings with himself and with others.

When you’re feeling bad in your body, you’re less likely to give joy to others.

It’s not happy people who do the most harm in the world. And it’s not people who are happy in their bodies who generally wreak doom and gloom. If you enjoy walking down the street, you’re not likely to greet people with a gloomy countenance.

If you can’t comfortably reach into the back of your refrigerator to pull out a drink and if you can’t reach down to the floor to pick up a sock and if you have a hard time driving a car for longer than 20 minutes, you’re unlikely to bring joy to yourself or to anyone else.

You’re a dead weight on the world. You bring little joy to others. You inflict misery on those who have to be in your presence.

Hey buddy, your complaining bugs me! Get a life. Get some Alexander Technique lessons. Get some therapy. Go to a 12-step meeting. Go to church or synagogue. Read a book and get out of your own way.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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