You know real joy when you see it. Happiness is often mistaken for joy. But real joy is more than emotion or feeling good. Joy isn’t something you have, its something that can’t be taken from you.
École Notre Dame Elementary School in Leduc, Alberta is a busy place at Christmas time.
Like all elementary schools, teachers help boys and girls practice songs and instruments in preparation for their annual Christmas pageant. It’s a dress up night for many students. Girls look like princesses and boys sport bow ties, jackets and fresh haircuts.
The gym is packed over three nights with standing room only crowds of camera-wielding family members and neighbors. Jocelyn and I were there to watch two of our granddaughters.
Each class came to the platform and did their thing. At one point the concert was paused while a man with a complex contraption maneuvered a student seated in a wheelchair up a flight of stairs and on to the platform. The boy sang along with his classmates and then the man reversed the process and brought him off the platform.
This procedure was repeated a second time for the same boy during the finale song.
I watched the boy enthusiastically do his part, singing and signing the words. But it wasn’t in the boy where I saw joy.
As the final concert concluded, the principal, Madame Monique Tellier-Phillips, thanked all of the students and teachers. Then she turned our attention to the man with the wheelchair lift. She explained that he was father of a teacher. He drove 1100km round-trip from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to provide an accessibility solution to one student for his seven-minute long role. The crowd applauded him appreciatively.
The stranger is the kind of man worth meeting.
I made a beeline and caught up to him as he was about to exit the school. The Good Samaritan is Glen Ogilvy. His business is Access 2000 Elevator & Lift Inc. His company provides accessibility solutions to make everyday life unconstrained and people more self-sufficient. I asked him about local companies that provide the same service.
He explained that no local companies were interested in offering support. His daughter asked him if he could do something. And so he did, at no expense to the school.
Glen’s company Facebook page explains they “take pride in their high standards of service.” Glen certainly lived up to that value. Glen invested a great deal of time, money, and pride in order to provide the best available products in North America. The company motto? “Let us take you to the top.” That’s a ride I’d trust Glen with any day.
Glen knows the secret of joy.
He was blessed in helping make an experience possible for another human being. The economy make try to rob Glen of his profits and his business but nothing can take away his calling in life. Nothing and no one could take away his joy.
The people I want closest to me are those impressed by generosity, character, gratitude, love and selflessness – like Glen Oglivy.
APPLICATION: Have you been witness to joy? Please share your story or give a shout out to someone you know like Glen. Thank you.
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