Let your imagination run wild

“KA-POW!”

“BLAMMO!”

“WHIZZAM!”

My arms flailed around madly as each punch landed square on the villains’ noses. I was silent, yet deadly. Protecting the town and keeping the streets clean.

The bad guys had no hope. I was a ninja.

I was also a kid.

The two most beautiful characteristics I see in children are innocence and imagination. They’re innocent and naive enough to explore the world around them under the presumption that they’ll be safe. And they’re imaginative enough to entertain themselves for hours with nothing but a stick and some invisible bad guys.

I’ve been reading through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy over the past few weeks. It’s a series of 5 books that ignore logic and bounded fun and tell stories of space aliens flying through the outer reaches of space, all the while compiling a traveler’s guide on how to hitch hike across the galaxy. If that’s not interesting, I don’t know what is.

Douglas Adams, the ingenious mind behind these absurd stories, conjures up ideas such as the restaurant at the end of the universe. It’s a place you go for dinner. In the future. After your meal, you fly back in time, make your reservation, and put a penny in a savings account so that you’ll have enough money to pay for the future meal you’ve already eaten.

He also recounts a time, long ago, when a former human race decided that leaves would be their form of currency, so money really did grow on trees. Inflation grew beyond control, however, so they had to burn down all the forests to curb the problem.

Maybe the crazy idea that grabs your attention is that of the alien race who discovered the only thing that travels faster than the speed of light was bad news, so they built spaceships powered by exactly that—bad news. The project was later abandoned because the ships were so unwelcome when they arrived that there was no point in being there in the first place.

These books are chock full of creative stories like this. They’re stories that require a childlike acceptance for crazy ideas and an imagination not suffocated with logic and physical rules.

I recently met a man from Buenos Aires named Facundo. He, much like my friend Mariana, doesn’t particularly enjoy his current job. He wants to explore the world around him. He wants to meet people and see what life is like beyond the borders of Argentina. He wants to be a kid again. So he’s going on an adventure and his first stop is Disney World. He’s going to play.

We all used to be kids. We were creative. We were free. We had our whole lives ahead of us. Then they became mucked up with jobs and monetary ambition.

Rediscover your childhood. Fight the bad guys. Drink in the beauty around you.

Go play.