A philosophy professor of mine was talking to me once about watching his children and other children playing soccer. He said that he thought watching children at play was a good way to get a handle on the concept of joy. Then he said that when he watched the parents and how they acted at the games, he got a real sense of "the fragility of human joy". I really liked that phrase. It brought to mind images of soap bubbles and delicate, beautiful things made of thin glass. It is a phrase that comes to mind a lot when I find myself doing mean or spiteful things. I get these images of midair splashes and breaking glass. It is easy to hurt people, I think. It's also easy to forget that it's such an easy thing to do.

I wonder where people lose that childish joy they once had. I wonder how the rainbows in soap bubbles turn to rainbows in a puddle of oily water by the side of the road, and how those beautiful glass objects turn to empty bottles of Budweiser and Jack Daniels. Seems it happens to everybody in varying degrees. Maybe it is inevitable. I hope not.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.