Black culture reinforces the correct images for joy and harmony to prevail
NOTE: This is Part 9 of a 12-part series that defines the core elements of Black culture.
Generally, Black people are a joyful people. The world has always been envious of our boundless joy and creativity. There’s something within us that exudes joy despite the challenges we’ve encountered. We’re masterful in our capacity to create and inspire others.
Creativity is the product of the imagination. Imagination is a power of the spirit; the images we replay in our minds guide our life force. Our imagination influences everything we do. Every choice, idea and behavior begins as thoughts and images in our minds. Since we control our own minds, we have the power to reframe our thoughts and images to make them work in our favor.
Through your imagination, you can travel anywhere with the speed of light. What we imagine repeatedly can come into being. Proper use of the imagination strengthens our ability to recreate our world and reshape our lives. Since emotions are invoked by the images we associate with them, we should entertain only positive emotions which are enjoyable. Thus, joy and the imagination are intertwined.
To take advantage of the power of joy, you should always entertain joyful images of success, good health and well-being in all areas of life. Joy is the energy state that triggers all your vital functions to work well. Joy radiates energy, energizes and heals you, strengthens you, and vitalizes you. Don’t wait for things to happen to bring you joy. You have the power to make yourself joyful. Never-ending joy is happiness.
The highest spiritual significance of joy is to get excited about becoming a divine being. God created you to enjoy life. You were brought into the world to become joyful about being made in the likeness of God. Your imagination can help establish your divine identity if you begin to visualize yourself functioning as your highest Self.
If you find yourself lacking joy, then appreciation and gratitude can help ignite the joy and turn the excitement on. There’s a lot in your life to be thankful for. The list of good things in your life likely outweighs the few problems you may be currently encountering. Likewise, identify those things in your life that you have received but didn’t earn. Begin to appreciate the seemingly small things such as a budding dandelion in your yard and marvel at the Divine Intelligence that created it.
Black culture reinforces the joy of being Black and encourages the proper development of the imagination. Our creative cultural expressions are rooted in our spiritual practices. Art, architecture, music, dance, etc. were historically used to reinforce the positive attributes of man and his/her purpose in the world. For instance, the primary purpose of music is to induce a trance state for ritual ceremonies. Likewise, drumming and dance stemmed from the same source.
Ultimately, our joy comes from knowing and loving God. So the next time you see a group of Black people enjoying themselves, remind yourself of the source of true joy and happiness and appreciate the fact that God granted you the ability to choose to be joyful at any time, so choose joy all of the time.