8 Pillars of Joy: The Dalai Lama, Desmund Tutu & 2020

The culmination of The Book of Joy with the Dalai Lama & Desmund Tutu is the outlining of 8 Pillars of Joy. At Bridge2Food we are very grateful for the support in 2021 of many partners, speakers, delegates & supporters for us & the NGOs we could support in Malawi in 2020!

We keep returning to these 8 pillars in thinking in view of 2020.

  1. Perspective – Taking a sacred pause and finding the widest perspective helps us solve problems with creativity and compassion rather than rigidity and reactivity.
    We have had to learn the hard way to look at each other, our relationships, and our society from many different directions due to Covid-19. A lot of very positive things have happened, e.g. our appreciation for being healthy, for all hardworking health & social workers, and also for our position in society. We can do things differently and we are having a unique moment in time to rethink what connects us.
  2. Humility – Discover how you depend on others – your parents, those who made your clothes, or where you live, or the medications you take. You are only one of 7 billion people.
    2020 has clearly shown us that taking care of each other is so important! Taking a humble position has allowed understanding the other person, to show even more respect and appreciation, and to “see” the position of our colleagues (when kids were asking for attention during video calls).
  3. Humor – Find ways to laugh at your faults, limitation, and foibles. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at life.
    We have had many situations at work, where humor was so important and visible. We have had many more opportunities to express this during live video calls, which was very often a great experience.
  4. Acceptance – Don’t argue with what was or is. Don’t argue with reality. “Why be unhappy about something if it can be remedied? What is the use of being unhappy if it cannot be remedied?”
    The current situation has enabled us to accept situations at work, in our private lives, and also personally. The bigger picture of elderly people in hospitals did shine new light on our own position.
  5. Forgiveness – Tell your story. Name the hurt. Grant forgiveness. Renew or release the relationship.
    Many things did not always go right from the start. We have learned a lot about forgiving others for taking a short cut, for doing what was not completely right in our view, and for taking care of themselves first in difficult situations.
  6. Gratitude – Be thankful for what goes well and the learning and growth possible when things don’t go well.
    Being thankful for what we have instead of not have, being appreciative for the care and love of others, and showing gratitude for space other has given us, has been a fantastic experience for many of us.
  7. Compassion – Loving kindness: May you be free from suffering. May you be healthy. May you be happy. May you have peace and joy. Begin with yourself, then those you love, then those you know, then those you don’t know, and then those you fear or anger you.
    Younger people helping school kids at home with free tutoring. Elderly people receiving offers to do shipping for them. Citizens clapping for health care workers. So much compassion has come to the surface again!
  8. Generosity – Offer more and more and more to others (resources, compassion, forgiveness, understanding) and see what comes back to you.
    No strings attached: help without expecting anything back, giving with our heart, and sharing what we have. We have seen so much joy in 2020: again a magnificent experience!

Please find out here more about this fantastic book of joy HERE

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