Entry 57: Innocence Lost
My youngest brother just turned 9 years old last week, and he was excited to do bigger chores and have more responsibility, which is atypical in my opinion. One day he was a carefree child and the next he was a respectable citizen of the United States.
For his birthday, my dad and I went to his school to eat lunch with him. While we were waiting for his group to enter the cafeteria, I observed the hundreds of children eating and chatting without a care in the world. It then got me thinking...
At some point in our lives, we were all children having fun together.
This meant no responsibility or obligations to others. If you saw another kid playing with something, you went up and played with him/her. Your prime objective was to laugh with others and eat as much junk food as your body could hold, and then do it all over again.
The other day at the AT&T store, I saw two different kids playing together on a tablet. One of their mothers told him it was time to go, and before the child left he ask the other what his name was. It's most likely that they may never see each other again, but their brief time together was cherished.
So at what point did we lose this type of bliss? Some of us grew shy and anti-social, while others became bitter and distrustful. We become selfish and egotistic, and we often look down at our phones to avoid eye contact with others.
I realize this does not apply to everyone, but the vast majority of people seem to ignore other, and it is a fresh breath of air when a stranger is happy to see you smile when they say hello.
I noticed this when I was walking downtown by the San Antonio River Walk. My dad and I were observing how friendly the public city guides were (they wore yellow shirts with the city's name on it). Most of them didn't even bother to smile or nod as people walked by, which made the leisurely experience less so.
The one person who clearly smiled for no benefit was a homeless-looking individual with run-down clothing and a traveling luggage. As we walked past each other, he looked my way with a friendly smile, which filled me with a sense of joy.
Earlier today I was walking through the 99¢ Store and for some reason I felt happy. I was only going to buy a bag of these Dynamite Doritos Sticks (which oddly enough, I don't like much), but for some reason I was happy. Just walking through each aisle with a skip in my step.
So what happened to our bliss we used to have all the time as children? I bet it was our jobs, not-so-good friends, and realizing how much stuff cost. But amid all that, how can we regain all that happiness back?
Well, not to dampen your day, but I don't have any clue. Money, friends, food, and other frivolous things could make you happy, but they usually disappear after some time and a large deep-dish pizza only lasts so long. So in closing, I just want to share this image that I found, which seems so simple, but it is only limited by your perspective and willingness to change: