What does JOY Mean in Bend, Oregon?
Co-Owner Laura Blossey has been talking a lot about creating and living with Joy this year. It’s brought the word to the forefront of my mind.
The definition of Joy in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is as follows:
- The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion
2: a state of happiness or felicity
3: a source or cause of delight
Thinking about Joy… and then your own personal behaviors. How have you impacted your own world today? Did you get up, shower, get dressed, and go straight to work?
Or…. Did you stop along the way for fuel, a breakfast sandwich or coffee?
Did you look at the person who helped you? Or did you focus on other things?
Did you engage with them first? Did you make THEM smile, or did they make YOU smile?
Do you believe that you “get what you give”?
Are you a source of delight for others?
Bend Oregon Old Mill District launched the Bend Joy Project in 2016 to help our citizens remember to give the very best of ourselves each day. So often, we pass through our day, paying attention to only ourselves. Our struggles. Our miseries. And we miss the Joy that is life itself.
Bend Oregon wants to change that, and for the residents here, we get a daily reminder. There are billboards along our own four lane highway that express sentiments of Joy. I personally see it every day when I come in to the office. I like it. A lot!
From our office in the Old Mill, we can easily see 4 of the bright orange banners that encourage passersby—the closest says “Hum a happy tune.” I smile every time I look at that banner. Maybe it’s the thought of music, a happy tune, or just the fact that it’s a message to uplift the reader.
The Bend Joy project offers a daily text of “joy” to recipients who sign up. My daily text today said “Explorers always come back to camp with arrows in their pants. Be intrepid—but wear thick pants.”
To me, today, this is a personal challenge to persevere. It’s snowing, again. Roads could be icy when I leave for home tonight.
I’ll put on my heavy coat, take the hand of my sweetheart and take our weekly walk along the River…. I’ll wear my smile and be thankful to see the amazing beauty of the snow falling on our little part of the world. I’ll spread Joy with a kind word, a happy smile, or just a “hello” to the strangers we pass along the way. I’ll greet my grandchildren with the same Joy that they always greet me, when I see them on Friday nights…
This is really the culture that Bend Oregon is cultivating. Spread kindness. Be good to each other. Be humble. Respect others. Be sincere. Respect the opinions and knowledge of others and be respectful in all manners.
With the diversity we celebrate within our community it’s really a Joyful place to live.
To learn more about the Bend Joy Project visit them below:
Text BENDJOYPROJECT to 332-22