More Than Grammar

June 26, 2010

Can joy be a verb? That’s the question my dad asked me last evening. A question that, of course, still has me deep in thought 24 hours later. 

“You can have joy, you can be full of joy, you can be joyful, you can choose joy, but you can’t joy something; you can’t do joy. But you can enjoy something” was my response to him.

“I don’t agree with you. That can’t be right. Joy is happiness,” he said.

Joy can also be misery or pain,” I said.

“What about love?” he asked.

“You can choose love and establish a way to love, but it’s difficult to describe definitive love or how to do it or how to teach it. The way I love will be different than the way someone else loves.”

“What about peace?” he asked.

Again, things you have. They’re nouns. You have peace, you’re granted peace, you find peace.

He tossed the ideas in his mind for a while, and then he passed it to me like this: “What about Joy to the World?” I was silent for minutes.

Still a noun. We’ve eliminated the word “give.” Give joy to the world. It’s a gift. It’s a noun.

“And you’re not doing a very good job of presenting your case,” I said. “Prove it to me. Try harder because I want to see your point of view.”

The challenge with joy, love and peace is finding a way to live them as if they are verbs.

What are your thoughts? Can joy, love and/or peace be verbs? Prove it to me. I want to see your point of view.

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