By Katy Batchelder
|Image Credit: savvymom.ca|
Children have a tendency to find joy in the simplest things. From turning dirt to mud, to playing with the box that the new toy car came in—everything can be made into an adventure. This ability to find genuine happiness in any situation is something that we as adults need not only to be more aware of, but also to find the energy to do the same in our own lives. We need to find the joy as simply and easily as children do—especially when it comes to the relationships in our lives.
Recently, when I asked my friend’s four-year-old son, Cooper, what makes him happy, a huge smile instantly spread across his face. “When I give you hugs. I give you a hug, and I’m happy,” he said. I couldn’t help but laugh at how quickly he responded and how excited he was to tell me. There was no hesitating, no second-guessing.
A few days later, I asked some of my friends in college the same question. There were a lot of long, contemplative pauses followed by hesitation. “Ummm . . . in what regard?”
We as adults seem to get caught in the small print that does not exist. Why do we hesitate at all when asked what makes us happy? The little stresses we encounter each day can build up to a point where we put our happiness on the back burner, and sometimes the happiness of those most important to us. We need to take a hint from Cooper; keep it simple, and find the joy.
That same day, I asked Cooper what makes his mom happy. He thought about it for a second, and then replied nonchalantly, “when I give her loves.” Without missing a beat, he gave his mom a quick hug. Cooper was right—it was obvious how happy he made his mom. At least, after nap time.
With Cooper’s attention span dwindling, his mom finally asked him the most important question of the day. “Cooper, what is love?” Reflexively, Cooper replied, “I love you! Like that!”
If only life could be as simple as it was when we were kids, right? But it is. We have to remember that we have the ability to make life not only simple, but also happy. All we have to do is find the joy.