Episode 199: Be an Observer of Joy

    Jul 8, 2024

    Hi friend,

    Sometimes, just watching someone else’s joy can bring iton home to you.

    Many years ago we were visiting our good friends in Baltimore where crabs are king. When dinnertime rolled around, they suggested, “Hey let’s go get some crabs.”

    I’ll be honest, I was a littleapprehensive, but I thought, “Hey, why not get out of your culinary box, andtry some crab cakes?” I was always game for trying a new restaurant withfriends. I was, however, surprised when the car ended up not at a restaurant but at a shed that functioned as a crustacean killing field.

    We walked in, and the first thing I saw was a basket on the floor with a mountain of terrified animals stacked on top of each other, writhing and wriggling, obviously aware of their fate, desperate but powerless to escape. Then we moved on to the counter behind which I could see live crabs being tossed into boiling kettles. I swear I could hear them frantically clawing at the sides of the kettles, their silent screams filling the ears of my heart.

    Our friends ordered up, and the owner tossed a bunch of lifeless bodies into a common paper bag. Then we setoff for home, everybody else in the car chattering on about how they couldn’t wait to dig in. Once in the house, they spread newspapers on the kitchen table and proceeded to horrify me by cracking the things  apart and sucking the meat out of legs like cannibals.

    I tried very hard to be nice and polite. I tasted the meat that someone else had extracted, but it tasted like seafood which I do not enjoy; even the smell is unappealing to me.

    I never did learn to love crabs, but I did learn that you can find big joy from watching other people’s joy. Find out how you can do the same in this week’s episode!

    Thanks for joining Jill Baughan today on Finding Joy …No Matter What.

    Make a Joy Box for Someone You Care About: https://jillbaughan.com/joy-box/

    “A Guide to Maryland Crabs.” Visit Baltimore, 2024. https://baltimore.org/guides/crabs-guide/

    McGonigal, Kelly. “How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s ” Mindful, July 12, 2017. https://www.mindful.org/overcome-stress-seeing-peoples-joy/

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