Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Unabashed JOY

I love to observe children. They are my favorite teachers on the subject of joy, by simply being themselves ......without embarrassment or holding back. Their natural propensity for unabashed joy always inspires me to enjoy life more myself.

A few days ago while watching a play, a platinum blond 2 1/2 year old was sitting directly in front of me. Some people may have feared the worst for the next three hours and moved their seat. I, however, was delighted and looked forward to taking in the play and whatever this little guy would be up to. I didn't expect him to sit perfectly still and quiet. My prediction was correct.

For the first fifteen minutes of the show, he was enthralled with the activity on stage. He bounced to the musical parts and would stage whisper his comments to his mother. Soon, he lost interest in what was straight ahead and decided to take in the show behind him....me.

First we played peek a boo. Next he reached out and took my program from my hand. After playing with it for awhile, he faced me again and began the dance portion of his show. The more I chuckled, the more enthusiastic he became.

I imagine we all started off this way.....naturally joy filled and expressive. Somewhere along the line it seems, we are taught to hold back, to behave, and be quiet. How unfortunate in our learning to be respectful of others, we lost our natural tendency to be joyfully delighted with life.

At intermission, his mother turned to apologize. I reassured her sitting behind him increased the value of my ticket.

In the last hour of the show, this little guy fell blissfully asleep in his mother's arms. Apparently he was totally fulfilled.

I hope he doesn't change.

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