Joy is the simplest form of gratitude
- Karl Barth, as read in Between Heaven and Mirth
My boss surprised me by taking me out to lunch today at a local pizza place in Annapolis. I enjoyed the pizza slice he bought me — an artisanal looking but firmly New York-style white pizza with liberal amounts of drizzled olive oil and fresh mozzarella — but even more than that, I enjoyed his company. It was an unexpected gift, and not one I probably deserved after getting behind in so much of my work. Yet even though I was stressed from the job, and even though I felt like going out in the middle of the day would leave us farther behind, it strikes me that I enjoyed our lunch and that I enjoyed his company. It also strikes me that because I enjoyed it, I was able to put all the worries and concerns of the world behind me for the next few hours, and able to concentrate on catching up. Isn’t it amazing? Joy might be the simplest form of gratitude, but from it springs the simplest expression of gratitude; thanks. It would seem that when we acknowledge an inherent gift that we feel we in no way earned, we find ourselves giving back. Not out of reciprocation or guilt, but rather, out of joy and mirth. True charity, I think you could say, is born from such gifts.