Growing up as a foreigner in America and then living the second half of my life (so far, at least!) overseas as a foreigner again has left a significant stamp on the way I see life. There were many times I was overwhelmed with the insecurity of unfamiliar languages, customs and have felt like an insignificant part of the whole. It has made me ask the question, “can I really have an impact on this world?”
But then I think of people like Johan Vaaler, Arthur Scott, or P. L. Robertson; people whom we don’t know by name, but who changed the way we all live by adding paper clips, paper towels and the square screw to our world! In most cases, these people were not looking for notoriety, they were just trying to meet a need. They were being themselves and happened to also become a majority of one! Wouldn’t it be cool to be like them, a majority of one!
But does contentment really come from achievement? As I have observed people in several cultures, the answer is an emphatic “no!” Rather contentment seems to come from an uncanny ability to live beyond circumstances. A contented person is free to do what comes naturally with almost no effort… the pressure is off.
But what is the secret to finding that equilibrium and peace we all seek? I like to call it the Joy Factor.
For me the joy factor is closely connected to my relationship with God. That means I will naturally include my thoughts about how this comes into play here. But belief in God is not a prerequisite to joining in on discussing the issues and questions which come up. In fact, it will be good to include a whole rainbow of ideas and approaches as we begin the journey of looking at day-to-day experiences from a new viewpoint.