No Greater Joy

There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.
– Sr. Mary Rose McGeady

La Esperanza, Colombia

Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service,
and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their
personal happiness.
-Leo Tolstoy

Katmandu, Nepal

Shared joy is a double joy
-Swedish Proverb

Pul i Khumri, Afghanistan

To get the full value of a joy you must have
somebody to divide it with.
– Mark Twain

Rome, Italy

Jaipur, India

Let a joy keep you.
Reach out your hands and take it when
it runs by.
– Carl Sandburg



A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning,
as if supported by the rays of the sun,
a bird settled on the fire escape,
joy in the task of coffee,
joy accompanied me as I walked.
– Anais Nin


Find ecstasy in life;
the mere sense of living is joy enough.
– Emily Dickinson


Joy is not in things;
it is in us.
– Richard Wagner


Joy is the serenity of heaven.
– John Donne

Mumbai, India

 Rajasthan, India

We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
– Joseph Campbell


My mind to me a kingdom is,
such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
– Sir Edward Dyer
1543 – 1607

Holi festival, India


When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

– Rumi, 1207-1273


 In time of care and sorrow, keep a fountain of joy alive in you.
– Dietrich Bonhoffer

This woman lives joyfully despite her poverty and physical disability.
Vrindivan, India

And Joy is Everywhere;
It is in the Earth’s green covering of grass;
In the blue serenity of the Sky;
In the reckless exuberance of Spring;
In the severe abstinence of gray Winter;
In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame;
In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright;
In Living;
In the exercise of all our powers;
In the acquisition of Knowledge;
in fighting evils…
Joy is there Everywhere.

– Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941
Nobel Prize in Literature, 1913

181 Responses to “No Greater Joy”

  1. Shedrack Daniel Says:

    The greater joy in your heat depends on how much joy you imbade on others.

  2. Reblogged this on Nasuko Japan and commented:
    How nice:D

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for creating these wonderful photographs and for the quotations. They are wonderful. God bless you.

  4. Reblogged this on The Spiritual Hologram and commented:
    There is joy.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Thank you for creating this beautiful collection of photographs and quotations. That catapult the mind into a higher orbit whence we see life and its ups and downs in a different light. Thank you.

  5. […] No Greater Joy | Steve McCurrys Blog. […]

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for reminding me that service, gratitude and joy are the greatest gifts we can share freely with all xx

  7. Anonymous Says:

    heart touch images , i like.

  8. No words to express. We are shown the natures gift in the form of Joy. Opened our eyes who are in searching joy in material life that can be found aroung us everywhere if you have eyes to see.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Truly inspiring to share these ideals onto others!

  10. Beautiful photographs. Beautiful words. Made my morning. Made me realise, yet again, how we are all connected.

    • KANWAL KOHLI Says:


  11. Phil Gentile Says:

    Brought a smile to my face …. a really big smile! Thank you.

  12. Truptimayee Swain Says:

    Smile is a curve that sets everything straight and its a language of kindness. So, always keep smiling…

  13. Reblogged this on This Pedestrian Life's Blog and commented:
    Beautiful photos, quotes, and poetry to enjoy…
    Peace and Love

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Joy and gratitude, beauty and grace…thank you for the smiles

  15. […] Awesome photo by awesome photo journalist Steve McCurry. […]

  16. Franki Gifts Says:

    These are such beautiful photos, everyone made me smile. Thank you so much

  17. The Photo essay has been a feast to my eyes… After a long tiring day staring at my monitor.
    Wonderful work.

  18. Sandra Bradley Says:

    Thank you for the ‘smiling’ meditation. It was a feel good at a deep cellular level. Changed my whole perception of the day and will carry me through the evening. What an incredible gift of all these spiritual beings trying to be human!

  19. Scott Wylie Says:

    As oddly as this may come out, this message gently came in under me, lifted me and began to carry me, like some big, loving kitchen spatula. As on a magic carpet, I rode out my studio window to the freshly-sprung oak leaves nearby, where it set me. Now I was amidst song, surrounded by the sparrows. The sun traveled in an out from behind the bright clouds and sprayed me, like a garden hose. It was a reaching, bursting joy! Thank you!

  20. gabrielgill907 Says:

    A remarkable photo journey, reminding us that true joy springs from within.
    It does not matter where we are or who we are.

  21. Dorothy Beavington Says:

    Thank you for reminding me what I already know. There is joy in the smallest miracle, and our lives are full of small miracles. Dorothy Beavington

  22. s. dinni Bangalore Says:

    Wonderful. A picture is equal to thousand words and a good quote is equal to a best book that is yet to be read.
    Only what is needed is keen observation, total sensitivity and unconditioned free mind that is pointed in abundance
    in J.Krishnamurti teachings.
    Alas!! World is going blind in seeking more and more infectious entertainment, adventures that ultimately lead to , boredom if not despair and not seeing the beauty around. Politicians and religions have not only utterly failed to lead mankind towards the good but also brought the very human survival under threat.

  23. Joy personified….What incredible beauty surround & penetrates us…For those who stop, look and listen.
    Love & Light to the world….DJ

  24. shelley Albrich Says:

    These pictures are inspiring beautiful and transformative. Thank you, The photographer(s) are pure artist. To capture the essence of joy. Thank you again, I would like to paint some of these people with permission. Shelley Albrich

  25. Truly inspiring photographs.Almost brought a tear in eyes..thank yu so much for sharing!!

    • Chris Wheaton Says:

      To see the pure joy on the faces of people whose lives are so different from anyone I know and to realize that the joy of life is universal and free puts a smile on my face. Thank your so much for making my world a smaller and loving place. A picture is worth a thousand words!

    • Anonymous Says:

      this is a fantastic photo essay. truly uplifting. will done.

  26. Mr D.K.Oza Says:

    As usual excellent stuff. One feels GOOD after reading this. Keep it up /
    Mr Devendra Oza Chennai India

  27. ….wonderful…..


  28. This was a meditation in photos. It helped me to remember that life is full of small and large moments of joy. Many of my joys come from people that are in my life or that I meet by accident. Thank you for this wonderful photo meditation.

  29. dhiru soni Says:

    AWESOME – The Joy of Life – We trample these flowers in reaching for the stars – I see Tankard of Life and Love overflowing in these pics. Keep more coming.

    Best wishes to all

    dhiru soni

  30. Ganeema Tokhi Says:

    Amazing talent! Wonderful pictures that takes you to the heart of the scene.

  31. […] exercise and find myself drawn to his blog and quietly contemplating a theme. Take a look at “No Greater Joy” –I loved the sense I got of the universality of this emotion. Whether or not you’re […]

  32. namaste!

  33. Mary Dollard Says:

    What beauty and joyous emotion captured in these pictures! Thank you Steve for sharing them with us

  34. Fantastic photos and quotes. An absolutely wonderful post!

  35. Thank you!! for the joy this brought to me!

  36. beautiful and inspiring. joy is not complicated though we often make it so.

  37. […] more wonderful quotes and some exquisite photos on the theme of joy, click here for a post by Steve McCurry. Do yourself a favor and spend a few moments enJOYing […]

  38. This is very good to remind us simple things like joy !! and this is true we can choose to be happy if we really want to !!

  39. Reblogged this on Not In India 2012 and commented:
    this is a truly an uplifting and beautiful post. The photos are superb as is the choice of quotes. Living joyfully is a choice we all make each day…and a true blessing for those who do mindfully make that choice.

  40. this is a truly an uplifting and beautiful post. The photos are superb as is the choice of quotes. Living joyfully is a choice we all make each day…and a true blessing for those who do mindfully make that choice. Your post has left me with a hug smile on my face and I thank you for sharing.
    with much love light and JOY

  41. Reblogged this on onbeingmindful and commented:
    TRUE JOY!!

  42. Anonymous Says:

    This was just beautiful! I would love to just capture these images on paper so I can start my day looking at these pictures. The colors are so vibrant. Thank you for sharing your gift w/ us. In peace- Teresa

  43. Reminder that JOY is indeed Everywhere. Thank you, Beautiful!❤ from my heart to yours and a FREE HUG too. I've noticed when I do Free Hugs in various countries, that no matter what culture is present, the impact is nearly universal, smiles, connecting JOY! HUG!

  44. Joy is a universal emotion. The faces of humanity in times of joy and sorrow prove that we are not so different from each other after all.

  45. Please go on propogating the message of peace and happiness. Those innocent smiles are sincere expression of joy.

  46. Christina Says:

    What a lovely and joyful collection of photos! Thank you.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    Why be joyful when you can be blissful…

    Discover the bliss within through meditation. I found it in Vipassana.

  48. Your photos are so uplifting and the colours so very rich. Your lens is a great gift.

  49. Absolutely amazingly beautiful!

  50. Your work honors my name and gives it even greater meaning to me. Thank you from my heart❤

  51. Simply, your photos remember us the life´s value… beautiful pictures..

  52. I shared these photos with my Deaf students in Oakland, California…no interpreting was needed – the smiles speak to the heart of us all. Thank you for making the silent serenity of joy spread across my classroom, and into all of our souls.

  53. Reblogged this on smittenwithhim and commented:
    Lovely pictures of goodness and light!
    This blog was also featured in the newsfeed in my sidebar – The Daily Good.

  54. traveljoycuisine Says:

    What a way to start the day! The smiles you share carry such joy. It immediately transforms my day. Thank you for sharing with the world and thank you DailyGood for bringing me here. :-) I have my own series of images of pure joy which you encourage me to put out there…

  55. Dhan Aiyar Says:

    We see true joy in the world through your lens. Keep up your hard work and thank you,

  56. Truly awesome!

  57. Anonymous Says:

    DailyGood did what it set out to do – raise my spirit and bring further joy to my day!

  58. Eileen Marie Griffin Says:

    Stunning and full of awe are these photos… of all of us….really. Such a gorgeous reminder of beauty
    and joy in this world …when so much of what we see and hear is the opposite. Thank you…what a gift!

  59. Reblogged this on Travel. Garden. Eat. and commented:
    Thanks to the DailyGood newsletter for bringing this beautiful series of photos to my attention. The photos speak for themselves, but the quotes add a layer of richness that together makes for a partnership that leaves you smiling, reflecting, and full of gratitude. Happy Friday! ~ Kat

    • I agree! Very important messages to take time to reflect on. I write sayings down for future reflection and it reminds me then what life is all about & renews the energy!

  60. d s ranga rao Says:

    We must learn to live smiling because smile and sorrow cannot be together. Therefore, if we keep smiling, sorrow keeps off itself from us.

  61. Awesome and inspiring. Thank you.

  62. Pure JOY! Thank you!

  63. Reblogged this on Andy: Photographer, Traveller & Chef and commented:
    No Greater Joy via Steve McCurry

  64. The pictures were really heart warming and very beautiful. Thank you for posting.

  65. Your work is AMAZING and so are the subjects in your photos. What beautiful SMILES:) I love each picture for a different reason and each left me with a bigger SMILE! THANK YOU.

  66. k r k sastri Says:

    May God give us capacity to appreciate His art in & around us, through the e t e r n i t y !

  67. Great Work, Great Beauty, Great Joy to witness.

  68. Anonymous Says:

    Really nice. Thank you.

  69. Jeena Says:

    :) Lovely

  70. Hard to believe that one man has seen so much beauty!

  71. AMIT DHAR Says:

    Thanks for beautiful pictures……..I am big fan of you.

  72. No greater joy exists than to fall in love

  73. Another great work from you !

  74. on a joy kick myself lately…hopefully it’s more than a kick and endures:) Blessings of joy to all who look upon your work steve

  75. Wow God bless this day! What a beautiful photos! Thank you very much for your talent.

  76. Anonymous Says:

    wonderful.much feeling from photos.
    just like many stories are telling from every photos.
    Great .

  77. Santosh Kudtarkar Says:

    I was feeling so down and I open this link… Man what a magic is this… I am feeling so good:)

    We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
    – Joseph Campbell

    How true is this????😀😀

  78. Ricardo H.Molinelli Says:

    Sigue siendo verdad aquel pensamiento que publicaba repetidamente el Readers Digest: La risa, un remedio infalible.
    Cuando está ilustrada con fotografías tan buenas como las suyas , la “joy”es doble. Felicitaciones

  79. Incredibly wonderful and VERY uplifting!!! A PURE JOY!!!!!❤

  80. Anonymous Says:

    Incredibly wonderful and VERY uplifting!!!!!! PURE JOY!!!!!!!❤

  81. Beautiful photographs! Thank you

  82. These are all so wonderful, but I’m particularly taken by the third image of the man with the ice creams! And the last photo is one that I’ve seen before, and heard your story in a video about it, Steve. Actually, here it is:

  83. Ricardo H.Molinelli Says:

    ¡ El tema ha sido sabiamente buscado! Cuànto nos cuesta aprender que la alegrìa existe tambièn en las pequeñas cosas. Las fotografìas y los pensamientos, excelentes. cADA VEZ MÀS UNO APRENDE A QUERER ESTE LUGAR. ¿Feleicitaciones!

  84. Teadragon Says:

    Mr. McCurry, viewing this has lightened my heart on a stressful day. Thank you for sharing.

  85. The one picture from India- with two girls on the swing, it captures quintessential spirit of India – harmonious relationship between man-nature, man-animal, youth and old age, and even joy seen on faces of two they work together in harmony to swing.

  86. […] No Greater Joy | Steve McCurry’s Blog […]

  87. What wonderful photos. Joy is such a wonderful and huge feeling that wells up in the soul. I can see the joy on the faces in your photos.

  88. Reblogged this on Io lomo, tu lomi, egli loma and commented:
    Alcuni di questi scatti sono alla mostra di Roma. Il neonato con lo stetoscopio è il mio preferito!

  89. Joy is only when you fully enjoy fredom.

    There was joy when we attained independence but now the ones whom we thought has brought us joy are our abusers.(Zimbabwe_y

  90. Very nice set of photos.

  91. oolung Says:

    Thank you! Your pictures and perfectly chosen quotes always strike a cord and make me cry.


  93. Jana Rains Says:

    Thank you for this. Your blog is an antidote for so much.

  94. This is all together very very beautiful!!

  95. Thank you! I really appreciate your blog.

  96. What a wonderful post…so inspirational

  97. Thank you for the joy of today, you inspired me as a photographer and as a traveler, thank you.

    Peace to you and your loved ones, mark brunner

  98. nelson homero Says:

    muy buenas fotografias. Felicidades¡¡

  99. Thiago Souza Says:

    Nice ones!!! What a lovely smiles……. keep it that way!!!

  100. Wonderful pictures. Excellent post.

  101. Thank’s a lot and Joy to you..Feel good.

  102. Absolutely beautiful and heart-lifting!

  103. Great set of images and marvellous texts!! Well chosen!! Thans.:)

  104. This post made me smile!:)

  105. Graciela Says:

    Great post, Steve!
    With more joy, possibly, humanity would have less cancer.

  106. This really made my day! Your pictures are beautiful and emotional, they make one think deeper! I cannot do anything but to smile!

  107. Marcela Ochman Says:

    Dear Steve, what you see and do it’s amazing. I love your photos… emotional and perfect. Thank you. Marcela.

  108. Caro Sr Steve,
    Em suas fotos percebemos claramente que a alegria e a felicidade estão nas coisas simples, nos pequenos momentos

  109. I’ve just found your blog and what a joyful day on which to do so! Your images are so powerful.

    How do you manage to capture the full gamut of human emotions in what appears to be such an uncontrived way?

    When working, do you get highly involved with the ‘subjects’ (e.g. talking to them, directing them a bit etc.) or do you try to be the professionally detached recorder of what emotions they are already showing?

  110. Paul Park Says:

    Smiles are truly energizing.

  111. Andrea Says:

    Ah!!!!beautiful… Thanks

  112. mandayamr Says:

    Thanks Steve!

  113. mandayamr Says:

    Reblogged this on What's the point?.

  114. made my day — how can this not make you smile right along with all those great genuinely happy people? thank you, steve.

  115. So beautiful !!!

  116. You made my day, Steve!:)
    kind regards, Corina

  117. Really beautifull!!!

  118. Hi Mr. McCurry.

    First of all, ¡¡congratulations for your incredible pictures!!, I think could “kill” to “shot”, only one, like the above ones.

    Thanks for your images… can still dream to make one like these.


  119. Reblogged this on Oxford School of Photography and commented:
    More gems from the lens of Mr McCurry

  120. Kevin Glackmeyer Says:

    Good stuff Steve … And the quotes are perfect.

    It was great meeting you in Auburn and sharing a drink. Loved the images from “the last roll”.


  121. Your photos made my day. I loved the Colombian photo: father and son. Best wishes. All the joy!

  122. Raki Nikahetiya Says:

    Great Blog! Thanks for sharing.

  123. Poshan Shakya Says:

    wow!! that surely makes us Happy!! such a pleasure

  124. and another smile here too:) thx!

  125. Reblogged at Chakde Photography!

    Amazing capture of the Universal Language sir!

  126. Lets all laugh more … thanks for your wonderful work

  127. Made my day during a busy surgery internship day..

  128. Thank you, Mr. McCurry.

  129. Your pictures are pure joy!

  130. Meltem Ciftci Says:

    It was not a joyful morning today .But I started checking my mails and got yours.I always love to look at your photos.But this one especially gave me such JOY at the time when I needed most. THANK YOU.

  131. Ronald Puma Says:

    Beautiful! In the tradition of the Family of Man…..

  132. Len Clift Says:

    Joy to the world

  133. vivien Says:

    As always Steve, your images are evocative and beautiful….What a joy to see these pictures showing that there are bright happy moments for these poor people…..You are an inspiration to us all.

  134. The good things in life….:-)

  135. Iver Aldas Says:

    Reblogged this on Iver Aldas – Documentary Photographer and commented:
    Steve McCurry’s no greatest joy.

  136. Laura Carraro Says:

    Questa è la gioia che vorrei vedere tutti i giorni. Ne abbiamo bisogno.

  137. Imposible no sonreir y sentirse contagiado por ese sentimiento humano que, a veces, nos une a todos…

  138. A celebratory post, life affirmative, wonderful…

  139. Steve …… you done your job very well ……………
    i must say you are a perfect shooter….
    because you know how to shoot in different way of timeline frames…..
    sir i am also interested in photography shoots and your images always motivated me and you are always be my teacher as well….
    my best wishes always with you…
    god bless…

    best regards
    Muhammad Atif

  140. GreatPhotos, Great Job Steve

  141. Ravi Mishra Says:

    Thank you so Much Steve for this beautiful blog, i like your all post till i subscribe your blog. it give me a wide knowledge and eye to capture the mood’s, moment’s of life. Some times some of the photographs repeated in your post, for example old lady in Vrindavan, Cambodian temple, Holi in vrindavan etc. I know these photography cent percent perfect in post, But beside that will you please attach some others pic. Awaiting for your new post.

  142. Cantik:-)

  143. Reblogged this on nik*.

  144. There is a sometimes a sea of pain that tempts us to forget our joy. It is good to be reminded of it.

  145. Sharon Levy Freed Says:

    Dont’ know you at all…but these make me know you very well…foreign country photos, are always “poor” people…so glad to see joy…it is what we all share and you capture so well!

  146. Great to see all these grins, smiles, laughs. More on joy please:)

  147. Oh it is impossible to not be a fan. All fantastic…

  148. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for spreading joy in your own unique way, Steve. This is probably my favorite posting yet. Just beautiful and JOYOUS!

  149. Beautiful. Thank you.

  150. I needed to see this Steve… thanks so much. I lost a good friend yesterday, and it helped to be reminded that happiness surrounds us if we allow it to. What marvelous images…

  151. fabulous as always

  152. Bellissime foto! Grazie!

  153. Linda Williamson Says:

    Thank you. I am always thrilled when I see you have a new post. You are the best in capturing emotion.

  154. Thank you for this post, it is just what I needed. Gave me tears of joy..

  155. Just fabulous, as always. It’s a treat every time I get a notice that you have a new post up. Thank you. Ken

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