Joy Is Resistance: Celebrating Positivity Amid Struggle
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Joy Is Resistance: Celebrating Positivity Amid Struggle

February 29, 2024 by Pathforward
To celebrate the World Day of Social Justice, consider some ways you can find joy through resistance.
To celebrate the World Day of Social Justice, consider some ways you can find joy through resistance.

In today's world, it's easy to focus on the negative when there's evidence of injustice all around. It might seem trivial or even selfish to focus on joy when there's so much work to be done. However, when you reframe your mindset to consider joy as an act of resistance, it becomes a powerful tool you can use to fight for justice and enact positive change in your community. On the upcoming World Day of Social Justice, find joy in resistance, and use it to keep working toward a better future.

What Is the World Day of Social Justice?

The World Day of Social Justice is an annual event that recognizes the global effort to achieve social justice. It celebrates those who are working to guarantee fair opportunities for all by addressing issues such as poverty, racism, gender inequality, unemployment, and others. It takes place each year on Feb. 20, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly.

On the World Day of Social Justice, it's a good opportunity to reflect on the progress made toward social justice while acknowledging how far there is yet to go. The event also coincides with Black History Month, a time for celebrating the achievements of African Americans and recognizing what they've overcome, including their resistance to systemic oppression throughout American history.

What Does the Phrase “Joy Is Resistance” Mean?

You've probably heard the phrase, "Joy is an act of resistance." Maybe you saw it on T-shirts at a recent march or noticed people sharing it on social media. But what's the connection between joy and resistance, and how can you find this balance?

When you use joy as a form of resistance, you're acknowledging that you can find moments of happiness during times of struggle. By finding this balance, you resist becoming cynical or jaded about the future. It empowers you to continue hoping for better outcomes so that you approach challenges with optimism, confidence, and resilience.

It's no surprise resistance has become a central part of the Black Joy movement. In this country, Black people have long been diminished and discriminated against simply because of their race. It's OK to be angry about this injustice and use it as motivation to continue working toward a fairer society. But resistance means finding joy in pursuing Black excellence and shifting the narrative to become a source of light for others. With resistance, it's possible to find joy in the face of adversity.

Benefits of Finding Joy in Resistance

As the World Day of Social Justice approaches, challenge yourself to find joy in the act of resistance. Doing so can have incredible benefits for your mental and spiritual health. It can help you:

  • Rest and recharge: Joy reminds you that while things might seem bad now, there are better days ahead. It gives you the power to hope for positive outcomes.
  • Build your inner strength: You build your inner strength when you find ways to be joyful during hard times. You're able to stay positive despite the struggle, allowing you to continue moving forward.
  • Celebrate the small victories: Progress doesn't happen overnight. Rather than being discouraged by how far you still have to go, joy allows you to celebrate the small steps and motivates you to keep fighting.
  • Make positive change: Joy is contagious. When you spread joy, you can connect with others who share your mindset. Together, you can resist the temptation to give in to defeat or injustice and work together to enable positive change now and in the future.

How To Find Joy Amid the Struggle

It takes practice to find joy in resistance, but the more you do it, the better you can become. Here are some tips to help you find joy amid the struggle.

Make Time for Joy

Find ways to make time for joy in your daily life. Commit to doing activities that make you feel lighter. For example, take a walk outside during lunch for some fresh air, or light your favorite candle while you journal in the morning. As you perform these actions, take a moment to acknowledge the happiness they bring you. Over time, you'll become better at finding and appreciating joy in the small things.

Practice Gratitude

If you start to feel cynical about the future, practice gratitude for what you have now. Stop what you're doing and make a list of all you have to be grateful for. Start a gratitude journal, and reread it periodically to remind yourself of all the good things in your life. This practice teaches you to find joy, even when it's hard.

Perform Acts of Kindness

A small act of kindness can have a big impact, both for you and the person receiving it. When you're feeling down, doing something nice for another person can instantly lift your mood. It can also inspire others to find their own joy, creating a domino effect. An act of kindness can be as simple as holding the door open for a stranger or giving a compliment to a friend. Here are some other ideas:

  • Leave a generous tip for a barista or server.
  • Write an encouraging note to someone.
  • Bring donuts or other goodies to the office.
  • Help a neighbor carry their groceries inside.
  • Pay for an expired meter.
  • Give your seat to someone on a crowded train or bus.

Find Connection

No one can enact meaningful change on their own. Find a community of people who share your values and goals for a better future. Volunteer at a nonprofit in your area or join an online community doing outreach. You'll meet people who inspire you to keep working toward change and make you feel hopeful for the future.

As the World Day of Social Justice approaches, consider how you can use joy as a form of resistance to continue working toward a fairer, more equitable world. Want more advice about how you can find joy amid the struggle? Schedule a reading with a PathForward Psychic Advisor who can offer deeper insights into how to live your best life.


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