Authentic Joy

Friday morning on my way to work I got stuck in some construction traffic and noticed a man waiting for a bus on a street corner. Though it wasn’t obvious at first, I noticed that this guy was somewhat developmentally challenged. He was about my age, but I could tell from his next action that he didn’t carry all the baggage on his back that I do.

As the traffic started to flow I saw this guy start thrusting his fist into the air and pumping it down. It caught me off guard for a second till I noticed the semi truck traveling toward him. This guy was so excited to see the semi and it was going to make his morning if this semi driver would blast his air horn. I started to feel sorry for the guy as the semi began to pass quietly, but then at the last second the driver let out a short horn blast. The man on the corner had a huge grin on his face as the semi rolled away.

That got me thinking about why I don’t get noticeably excited by life very often. Why don’t I find joy in the simpler things of daily life?

It’s easy to look at people like this guy on the corner and feel sorry for them, but we can learn about joy from them. I think one secret to the joy I see in people like this is simply their innocence or lack of what I’d call more worldly concerns. They’re not focused at impressing people, climbing the corporate ladder, or ashamed of their failures. They’re authentic. I want to live my life more like this!

How about you? What robs you of joy in your life?