I’ve long thought that we, as adults, are missing a key ingredient to a joyful life. It’s not that we aren’t born with it. Children have it in abundance, but as we grow and mature and become grown ups we shed this adolescent ability to know true happiness.

To me the cause of this is no mystery. We try too hard. Simple. This thought occurred to me last night and again this morning. Two separate incidents occurred.

The first was witnessed by my mother and related to me. Last night she was leaving the hospital after sitting with Doodles for us. While driving down Magazine Street, the car in front of her pulled over. The driver exited the vehicle and started dancing in the street to very loud music blaring from his car-an adult, grown male. And when she told me the story, I immediately thought two things: 1) He’s apparently out of his mind, or maybe just won the Powerball.* 2) If only I had anything to be that joyful about.

The second thing occurred this morning and solidified my aforementioned theory. I walked down to retrieve some bottled waters from my trunk, and on the way back I see a boy, probably about seven or eight years old, standing near a lady I assumed was his grandmother or something, and he was dancing. No music. Nothing. Just the joyful act of dancing to dance and move one’s body around for the hell of doing it. And he didn’t care that anyone saw him. No one else cared or even paid attention to him.

So why is it strange that a grown man would pull over to dance in the street but no one pays any mind to a child dancing about simply for the sake of dancing about? Because we allow kids to be free and imaginative and creative and happy for no reason. But it’s not something we allow for ourselves.

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I didn’t see the Magazine St dancer, but if he was really good, maybe he looked like this.

*Also there’s a strong possibility that he was just high. But still.

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