The Elevation of Joy

By Mike Johnson

The exact elevation of the second story deck on the back of our barn is 6,685. The tallest peak east of the Mississippi -- Mount Mitchell in North Carolina -- has an elevation of 6,684.

Not that I look down on the eastern half of our country, but I literally do look down on the eastern half of our country.

But my position is less impressive when compared to 12,200 foot peaks across the valley.

Comparison can be the death of joy. It can also be the birth of inspiration.

There are many ways to live. I've lived on an island 9 feet above sea level. I've lived in a suburb. In a city. On a farm (twice). In apartment complexes (7 times!). In a trailer. I loved them all.

As you compare to others, they compare to you. What is normal to you might be exceptional to them. Each of us, in untold ways, are inspiring others by just living our lives. Perhaps your "normal" deserves to be described as exceptional.

Look around. Take it all in. Nothing lasts forever. One day you'll move on. Today becomes the past that you'll fondly remember in the future.

Despite living in the mountains, I enjoy visiting my past locations in the flat lands. Each home, at one time, represented a fulfilled dream. I enjoyed all those locations, as rekindled feelings remind me during every nostalgic visit.

Elevation is merely an external measurement.

A much better measurement is your own internal height of joy.

Penny's got it figured out.


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