I love watching my children dance. They are the epitome of the phrase “dance like nobody’s watching.” When the music starts, there isn’t a part of their of them that isn’t feeling the groove. Whether it’s a simple head bop or a full body jump / shake / flail, their entire body becomes an extension of the beat. It makes me smile like few things on Earth (or off it).
But a funny thing happens when they notice I’m watching. They don’t stop, first of all. They don’t become self-conscious, offer an embarrassed smile and sit down. If anything, they dance more. And by more, I mean just that: they jump higher, they shake longer and they flail with more abandon to the music than ever before. And I smile even more too.
Many of us do go about our lives like nobody’s watching, but not in the true spirit of that phrase. Instead, we pass in the no passing zone if there isn’t a police officer around to give us a ticket. Or we goof off on Facebook if the boss isn’t paying attention. We’ll get to it later. We’ll do it tomorrow. We’ll cheat a little, just this once. Because nobody’s watching, after all.
Now, my children would dance whether or not I was watching. But here’s the beauty of what happens when I do: their joy becomes my joy and vice-versa. And the shared joy multiplies exponentially; the more they dance, the more I smile; the more I smile, the more they dance.
Look, the world cares not if you binge watch Scandal instead of writing a novel, painting a picture or playing a song. Heck, we won’t even know about the choice you made to ignore, put off or otherwise fail to put your entire self, body and soul, into your life’s dance. But then we all miss out on the opportunity to share in the joy of your creation, which is… sad.
So don’t dance like nobody’s watching. Instead, dance as my children dance when I am watching: with everything you’ve got. Dance like everybody is watching and show us all the unique creative spirit that is you.