When the actor Gene Wilder passed away a few years ago I played the candy man song on repeat. It was always one of my favorites and reminds me of a classic movie. I started singing along and hummed the tune throughout the day.
There’s a child in all of us but for some reason we are afraid to let him out. Sometimes as adults we act silly and then we quickly compose ourselves, afraid that others will think we are losing it.
Some of us are Charlie Bucket in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Reserved and quiet, we want to run the streets like a kid with a golden ticket, but we remember our manners and respect for our elders.
Some of us are Mike Teavee. We lose ourselves in the imaginary world of characters inside the TV set and then we want to act it out in real life. There are no adults here, just people making their way through your TV show life.
A lot of us are Willy Wonka, the grown up with a sense of wonderment and awe, looking for a smart way to tell the world that it’s O.K. to be a kid no matter your age.
We should all be Willy Wonka for a day. Grab an over-the-top bowtie and top hat. Find a colorful cane and oversized coat and head outside. No doubt that people will look at you and think that you need help.
Think of the late Robin Williams. How can we forget the scene in the movie Patch Adams where an elderly hospital patient is taken outside and greeted by Mr. Williams inside a large pool of pasta noodles? The elderly woman begins to wiggle and play inside the noodle pool. Her smile as wide and large as you can imagine. Her aching body is no more and she has not a single worry in the world.
It’s O.K. to be a kid again. Think of it. A whole day as a kid. No troubles or responsibilities. You’d be amazed at everything you didn’t know and was discovering. We like to think we know most things, but we’re wrong. There is so much we don’t know, and like a child we should feel a sense of awe at everything we are learning.
I think the age of 10 would be the best. You are young enough to have a sense of humor and wild imagination; and your old enough to find discovery interesting. You have the power to change the world just by putting on a cape and holding your arms out to the sky.
Especially during these times, remember that it’s O.K. to be a kid again. Try it for a day and pretend that the world is yours to explore, no matter what is happening around you.