‘Joy shared is joy sustained,’ Adam Grant writes in The New York Times

July 26, 2021

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Adam Grant

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There’s a Specific Kind of Joy We’ve Been Missing,” writes Center for Positive Organizations faculty affiliate Adam Grant in The New York Times.

The opinion piece explores collective effervescence — the energy and harmony people feel when they come together in a group around a shared purpose.

“Collective effervescence is the synchrony you feel when you slide into rhythm with strangers on a dance floor, colleagues in a brainstorming session, cousins at a religious service or teammates on a soccer field,” Grant writes. “And during this pandemic, it’s been largely absent from our lives.”

As the United States returns to some semblance of normalcy, Grant encourages us to rethink our understanding of mental health and well-being in the context of our recent isolation.

“We should think of flourishing less as personal euphoria and more as collective effervescence,” Grant writes. “… You can feel depressed and anxious alone, but it’s rare to laugh alone or love alone. Joy shared is joy sustained.”

Grant is The Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management and a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.