National JoyGerm Day

National JoyGerm Day

Ok, so we didn’t know what a “joy virus” was at first, but it’s another way to describe how happiness can be contagious. That old expression that “you should smile because happiness is contagious” has its day.

It was named “joy germ” because germs and other pathogens are easily spread from one person to another. It seemed like a good idea to make happiness highly infectious.

Joan White, a Syracuse, New York resident, came up with the idea of joy germ Day in 1981. The idea has since gained a wide following across the US and around the globe. Ms. White, a former advertising and public relations specialist, has used her creativity and positive thinking skills to promote joy germs.

White’s mother’s day was also the original joy germ Day. It was her energy that inspired White and her desire to create the day in her honor. White is not sure exactly how she came up the idea for joy germs. White did mention it in a piece she wrote for a local hotel, but the owner of the inn asked her to delete the reference. She kept the phrase for her own use and eventually came up with joy germ Day.

Happiness is infectious. Spread it. You can spread joy in many ways, so don’t hesitate to use all of the energy you have. Sometimes simple things include smiling and being kind to others.

You could also visit an elderly home to interact with residents who can often be lonely and bored. Based on your day, you might have other ideas. Try to be more friendly to people if you have a job that requires you to interact with people.

Joan White publishes a newsletter called “Infectionately yours”, which is in keeping with the joy germs theme. She also sends out many letters, cards and phone calls on the day. She has participated in joy germ Day activities in the past. These included parades, speeches at local Rotary clubs and visits to senior centers and nursing homes in the Syracuse region.

The day even has a mascot. There are items like membership cards, joy germ T-shirts and even a joy virus. Joy germ Day’s most remarkable aspect is not its existence, but the fact that it was founded by one woman more than 30 years ago. She managed to spread the word about the day far beyond her home. We could learn a lot from her positive attitude and the fact that she only expresses positive thoughts every day. White says, “May you and yours be blessed with a huge jar of joy germs.”


Aug 01 2024


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