“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Yesterday I remembered how silly I actually am.
I am not just being self-patronizing, I honestly am a very hyper adult. (Okay, young adult). For some reason I find it hard to believe that people actually view playing like a kid as silly. We were all kids once. I believe that somewhere in us there is a little child waiting to come bounding out.
One quote I memorized several years ago that I still apply to my everyday life is this:
Although I never actually watched Bugs Bunny, I still managed to remember this quote.
Because it is true.
In my own opinion, and you can take it or leave it, the people who have the most joy are the ones who don’t mind being a bit silly to make a kid smile. Is it really bad to act funny? Are we so timid in our self-identity that we can’t make a fool of ourselves? Some may find acting a certain way dumb, but I would never pass the chance to make someone smile.
I know, you caught me, I am always the class clown. The one who goes out of their way to look like an idiot to make their friends laugh. Why do we do that? Because our friend was having a bad day. If anything, I would say that being confident enough to be a little weird means you can be more loving.
Yes, we all need a shoulder to cry on and a friend to just sit and listen.
But sometimes we just need to laugh.
Believe me, its good for you. It’s ok to be weird. It’s ok not to have it together. We only have one shot at life. So at least while we are here, we ought to try hard to enjoy it. It’s not like we will get out of it alive or anything.
The reason I remembered this yesterday is simple. I played with kids pretty much the entire day. You would think working as a teacher would not be all that fun, but if you think that, you would be surprised. I spent this week assisting dance teachers in three classes, two different levels of Contemporary dance, and one Choreography class. Mind, all three classes contained girls between the ages of 5-11 years old. The first day went as I expected, I demonstrated the entire time, and never really talked to the students. After the second day, I noticed a dramatic change.
When working with kids, especially at summer camps where you see them every day for a week, generally this is what happens. The first day is difficult, rather awkward, and the students are not really comfortable. Second day starts, and the students have begun to make friends and are more comfortable. The third day is nuts.
At this point, each student (if you are a decent leader) has come out of their shell and is significantly more talkative and rowdy than before. Of course, the level of craziness depends on the student, but generally the group has meshed by the third day.
On said third day, I was amazed to find the students in each class waving enthusiastically to me as I approached the studio. Second, I became enclosed in a circle of about 10 girls trying to hug me all at once. I have to say, there is no better affirmation than to know that you made a child’s day.
In the middle of that day, I walked by the kitchen area where the students from my first class were making crafts. All of them yelled hi and waved at me. I stopped to talk with them for a while.
What really got me was what happened after all of my classes had ended. I had begun packing up and no one except a few moms and the occasional little brother were around. I asked for a schedule for the next week, when a little boy (probably four years old) made little pistols with his hands and made “pew pew” noises in my direction.
I did what any normal human would do.
I reacted instantaneously and dramatically, falling on the floor as if I had been shot. It quickly turned into a game, the little boy chased me around the chairs (and his mom), as I died at least five times. In the middle of this, I walked up to the front desk and asked to the schedule, then promptly fell to the floor as I was shot again. A mom who had seen me turned and said, “I thought something was wrong with you”. I replied, “something is wrong with someone who can’t play with a child.”
After I finally made it out the door, the little boy’s mom came out. I apologized saying I am quite a little kid when it comes to it. She looked at me and smiled, then said, “I’m grateful for that.”
This isn’t the first time someone has been surprised by how silly I can be when the opportunity presents itself. However, many people would never go to a national competition carrying a Yoda doll.
Why should we not be able to play? What is so bad about making a fool of yourself for the sake of a little child’s happiness? Enjoy life. More than that, enjoy being joyful. As kids all we did was run around and play and laugh without a care in the world. What does the bible say about that?
“Heaven belongs to such as these.”
We have been given innocence, laughter, geniality, and love from a young age. To keep it is one of the most mature things we can ever do. You will find that once you stop living for yourself, there is more life to your days.
Be blessed today.