The next time you're at the park with your children and you're watching to make sure they're safe, instead of being the protective parent take a moment to look at their faces. Watch their body language, watch them laugh and smile. Before they're taught to hate, before their hearts have been broken, before they've been disappointed and rejected and failed at something major, before any of the trials of life have impacted their minds, children are innocent and life is great. The joy of a child's innocence is enviable but it just might be key to a fulfilling life.
Think about your own life and the things that constantly replay in your mind. Think about the major things that have happened to you that shape the way you think. If you think hard enough you can probably pinpoint at least two events or experiences that, whether you admit it or not, have a direct impact on what you do every single day. Maybe your family is very supportive and always encouraged you to do your best and that has given you a strong work ethic. Or maybe your parents' marriage set an example for the loving, positive marriage you aspire to build with your own spouse. Unfortunately, chances are the memories that came to your mind were not the positive ones I mentioned. For some reason we tend to be most affected by negative events. Something traumatic happens and, just like that, our childhood innocence is gone and so goes the joy we once had. And, as adults, we just accept it. We accept our circumstances and the things we've been through as if we have not choice in the matter. We don't fight to keep the innocence and joy, we allow it to be snatched away by whatever has happened to us. Yes, terrible things happen to people everyday and you may have a real reason to be angry or bitter or resentful but, ask yourself this question, is feeling that way working well for you? Probably not. Maybe we should try to grab hold of the innocence that living life has drawn away from us. Maybe we can make an effort to smile, and play, and laugh like a child every now and then. If being miserable isn't helping you why not try something new?
So the next time you feel down try hopping on a swing, throwing your head back and letting out a laugh from deep in your gut, it just might make you feel better.