Last Updated on January 6, 2023
Inspirational stories are great — not only at bringing joy but also lessons that can help someone grow. A young man or woman can even see where their own happiness lies after hearing an inspiring story or two.
Stories about human life and how one can triumph over adversities, in particular, are of great use to those who are frantically searching for answers so they too can be completely happy. Feel-good stories are also great to read when you’re having a bad day.
With all of that said, here now are the best short stories about joy that can help you find happiness.
Table of Contents
A Room of Balloons
A speaker at a conference wanted to make a point about happiness through a group activity.
So the speaker handed out identical balloons to every attendee present. Everyone was asked to write their names on their balloon using a marker pen.
All the balloons were then collected and placed in the adjacent room.
Before the conference came to a close, the participants were asked to head over to the room where all the balloons were. They saw the balloons scattered all over at random.
The speaker then asked everyone to find their balloon. However, nobody was allowed to communicate with one another.
Everyone did as instructed but struggled to find their own balloon. People ended up bumping against each other, with some growing more frustrated by the minute. It was utter chaos.
After some time had passed, the speaker stopped everyone from searching for their balloon. They were then asked to pick up a random balloon and look for the owner of the balloon instead.
The task still took a couple of minutes but eventually, everyone had their balloon in their hands.
After the activity, the speaker explained the significance of the exercise.
He explained that their balloon represented happiness. And like what happened during the activity, it’ll be hard to find happiness if they look for it aimlessly. But if they allow other people to help, they stand a chance.
The lesson, then is that their happiness lies in other people. And just as others can help them find their happiness, they too can help others find theirs.
The key to finding happiness is helping others find theirs and letting them find yours.
A Bunch of Grapes
There was a monastery in a small village up in the mountains somewhere.
One day, a rich man approached a monastery and knocked on the gate. A monk opened the gate and was handed a bunch of grapes.
The rich man said the gift was his way of giving thanks because the monastery was always there when he needed help. Now that he came across a good fortune, he wanted to give back.
After the rich man left, the monk contemplated what to do with the grapes. At first, he thought about eating it. But he thought better and decided to give it to the monastery’s abbot for he taught him about kindness.
The abbot liked the grapes. But he thought there was someone more deserving of this gift — a sick monk. Indeed, the abbot thought that the grapes would bring joy to the sick monk.
The sick monk was given the grapes and was thankful for them. However, he thought the cook who prepared his meals throughout his ordeal would appreciate them more.
It was now the cook’s turn to admire the grapes. He couldn’t bear to eat them, though. The cook wanted the monastery’s sexton—the one who tended the churchyard every day—to have the grapes as a sign of appreciation for everything he’s done.
The sexton was happy when given the grapes. But he gave it to his apprentice so that he could appreciate the beauty of God’s creation.
The apprentice was honored by the gesture. However, he recalled that it was the monk who opened the gates who welcomed him with open arms the first time he stepped foot in the monastery. So he gifted the grapes to the monk, not knowing the grapes were his, to begin with.
The monk, who found the whole thing amusing, thought the grapes might be his. He also realized that if he started giving happiness, it was bound to come back to you.
When you share it with others, happiness will find its way back to you.
A Trip to the Countryside
A wealthy old man wanted to make his little boy understand the difference between being rich and being poor.
So one day, the dad took a trip with his son to the countryside where the less fortunate live and stayed there for a few days. The goal was to show his son what a poor family must endure surviving.
As soon as they arrived, the kid immediately felt the difference. Nonetheless, he had no problems interacting with the locals. He played with other children and made new friends. He’d talk with the old lady who’d give him snacks. He’d walk around town and have a great time even without money in his pocket.
The kid found the whole experience fascinating, to say the least.
Before long, it was time to pack up and head back to the city where they lived. On the journey back, the father asked his son if he understood the difference between being rich and poor.
The child began to recall everything he’s experienced and told his dad what he’s realized.
In the countryside, he could run free across fields without care. But at home, he’s confined to their backyard. In the city, you can barely see the stars at night, but that’s not a problem in the countryside.
Being in the city, they have to buy food every day. But the farmers he met can grow their food.
But the most striking difference, he thought, was how everyone in the community cared for each other. They lived a more leisurely life compared to them. And because of that, they experience happiness daily.
The father, proud of his son, asked if he would like to be a poor man like the people he met. To his surprise, his kid shook his head and said: “No, I want to be rich like them.”
Moral of the Story
Happiness is not about material wealth. It’s about the experiences that you share with others.
The Tickling Weighing Scale
One day, a bathroom scale appeared in the jungle, much to the amusement of the animals. They took turns weighing themselves, treating it like a game.
However, as time passed, many animals became obsessed with their weight. They got in a bad mood with the numbers they saw on the scale. They treated the scale poorly, kicking it and giving it angry looks.
But one day, the scale decided to do something about it. When the first animal, a zebra, stepped on the scale, it began tickling its hooves, causing it to burst into giggles.
From then on, the scale would tickle anyone who stepped on it, causing them to forget about their weight and focus on the joy of being tickled instead.
As the years went by, the scale stopped measuring weight and instead began measuring good humor and optimism.
The animals realized that these were much better indicators of beauty and worth than any measurement in kilograms. Eventually, the concept of weight became obsolete in the jungle, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Moral of the Story:
External measures of worth, such as weight, are not as necessary as internal qualities like joy, humor, and optimism.
The scale in the story represents the societal obsession with weight and physical appearance, and the animals’ reactions to it show how this obsession can consume and negatively affect people.
Ultimately, the scale’s ability to bring joy and laughter to the animals helps them move past this shallow way of thinking and appreciate their value for who they are rather than what they weigh.
Happiness is a Bank Account
Mrs. Jones was a 92-year-old woman who had just lost her husband after 70 years of marriage.
She was moving into a nursing home and was excited about her new home, even though she had not yet seen her room. She explained to her escort that happiness was a choice and that she had already decided to love her new home.
Mrs. Jones went on to say that she makes a choice every morning to either focus on the parts of her body that no longer work or to be grateful for the ones that do.
She emphasized the importance of making the most of each day and storing all the happy memories for the later years of life.
She compared old age to a bank account and advised others to deposit as much happiness as possible into their accounts. Mrs. Jones was still actively depositing happiness into her account.
Moral of the story:
Happiness is a choice, and it is essential to focus on the positive aspects of life, even in difficult circumstances.
Mrs. Jones, despite facing challenges such as the loss of her husband and physical limitations, chooses to approach each day with a positive attitude and to find joy in the present moment.
She encourages others to do the same, suggesting that they should make an effort to store happy memories and focus on the things they are grateful for.
The story suggests that this approach can help individuals find happiness and fulfillment, even in their later years.