”Joy” is a deeper and very different word than “happiness.” Joy, as we like to say, is the purpose of life and a choice we make. Joy is an attitude. Joy is a paradigm. Joy is a way of life. We can’t always choose the paths our life will take, but we can always control how we respond to those paths and what we try to learn and feel from them.
The third book the Eyres ever wrote was called The Discovery of Joy and it set the tone and the theme for much of their subsequent writing. The thesis of the book is that there are four levels of true joy: 1. The Physical Joy of Body and Earth, 2. The Social and Emotional Joy of Relationships and Achievements, 3. The Mental Joy of understanding the long range purpose of our thoughts and deeds, and 4. The Spiritual Joy of feeling Divine approval of what we are doing and who we are becoming.
But the real story of this book began long. before it was written and continues long after. The concept of the superiority of Joy over Happiness and the notion that Joy can become the theme and the pursuit of family life and move us toward lasting marriages and successful kids is something Richard and Linda had pursued for years and that eventually led to the founding of Joy Schools, a preschool curriculum that is now worldwide and that has been participated in by more than 300,000 families. (several years after writing The Discovery of Joy, the Eyres wrote Teaching Children Joy which became the actual prototype and catalyst and essential curriculum for Joy Schools.) The belief is that small children should not be pushed into early academics but should, instead, experience a real and joyful childhood. Joy School is a do-it-yourself preschool where moms form a group and rotate as teacher using lesson plans that have been developed over 30 years.
Interestingly, the new year of Joy School is currently on sale here on ValuesParenting, and the Eyres’ mother, Ruth S. Eyre who developed the full 12 unit curriculum from Richard and Linda’s books is honored this week (her birthday week–she would be 97).
But it all started with this book, and you can learn more about it via a podcast that the Eyres did 2 days ago, and you can get the whole book for free at EyresFreeBooks.com.