There are few things I enjoy more than people watching. I can sit for hours and watch people. When you watch people you learn a lot about them. Like how some people are very comfortable in their own skin and how others try hard to be something they’re not. Isn’t if funny how we sometimes think we have to act a certain way?
I’m writing this in a kid’s indoor amusement park. It’s a place that Karin and I sometimes bring the kids and today my son is here for a classmate’s birthday party. I’m sitting in the large dining room catching up on some email and watching people. It’s pretty funny.
You see the parents that are trying to look like they have it all together and you see the parents that are relaxed and having a lot of fun. I think that we parents can learn a lot by watching kids. Typically, kids just want to play with each other. You don’t see a lot of kids asking each other what kind of car they were driven here in or what each other’s parents do for a living. They don’t care about that. They care about having fun. There’s a lesson in there.
As we go through our school years and maybe go to college and eventually get into the job world we are trained to be competitive. We are trained to judge people based on things like economic status, skin color, clothes, automobiles and a million other superficial things. You don’t see kids doing this. You see kids wanting to make friends and have fun.
Ever notice that the people we tend to feel most comfortable around are the ones who feel the most comfortable with themselves? That’s because they haven’t lost that childlike quality. Way back before eight-tracks and Atari Pong, actually way back in the B.C. times, Mencius said, “Great is the man who has not lost his childlike heart.” True dat.
It may not serve you well to think that you have to “be a certain way.” Actually, when you’re trying to be something you’re not, that’s called acting. Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. I don’t think being a grownup and having fun are mutually exclusive. I’m not advocating shirking your responsibilities. I’m suggesting that when we choose to seek fun and to play (like we did once upon a time) we add a quality to our being that is attractive on so many levels. Adults are just kids with long hairy legs. Don’t be fooled by appearances. Everyone wants to have fun. The grumpy folks the most. Some people just have an overly developed grumpy gene. Don’t let them fake you out. Make them smile. Have fun.