Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you’ve already seen the original “Chewbacca mom” video and her many, many interviews which have followed. But, just in case some of my readers do live under a rock, let’s just take a moment to relive the sheer ecstasy of that moment once more!

I mean, really, I still laugh just as hard as I did the first time I saw it! This video has now been viewed HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF TIMES…it literally shattered records for most views on YouTube. So, what is it about this video–what is it about Candace Payne

Peter Mayhew
Peter Mayhew (HickoryRecord.com)

that makes thousands of total strangers from around the world write comments like “I want to be her best friend”? What is it about her that makes J.J. Abrams, director of Star Wars Episode VII, and Peter Mayhew, THE Chewbacca, reach out to her and invite her to be their guests at fan conventions? What is it about Candace Payne that makes us love her so much?

That question is actually easy to answer. She answered it herself at the end of the video. . .

it's the simple joys folks
It’s the simple joys, folks. ~Candace Payne, aka Chewbacca mom
“It’s the simple joys, folks!”

Our world today is so complicated; so difficult; so chaotic and, frankly, not very nice a lot of the time. Here in the United States we’re in (yet another) election cycle where, rather than talk about solutions to a lot of serious problems, candidates on both sides seem intent on destroying their opponent for political gain. Across the world there are numerous countries like Syria which are still ravaged by war and where millions of women, men, and children are fleeing their homes just to stay alive. Famine, disease, oppression–these are the things we are bombarded with day in and day out. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s more than I can handle.

chewbacca mom takes james corden to work
Chewbacca Mom Takes James Corden to Work with passenger J.J. Abrams (The Late Late Show)

And then Candace Payne showed up wearing a Chewbacca mask, laughing her head off, and made everybody feel good again!

The best part about it all is how accidental it was. She didn’t go to Kohl’s to get the mask. She went to get a pair of yoga pants and was walking away feeling bad about herself….

“I honestly wasn’t there for the mask,” Payne told “GMA.” “I was there for myself for some yoga pants because I’m trying to work out more. And it’s not really going that well, but I ended up going to the toy section because I got discouraged about the yoga pants and I thought, ‘Maybe not today. But I can get a toy for my kids.’ And I walk through the toy section and I accidentally bump my shoulder into this box. And I had seen this before, but I didn’t realize it made sound until that moment. It accidentally started making the growl, and I went, ‘I need to get that. Like, I don’t think my kids need that, I think I need that.’” (Courtesy of ABC News)

Somehow, despite the disappointment she felt that day, Candace found her joy again, and helped us find ours, too.

The lesson here is simple and one that I think we all need to learn and remember (I know I do, anyway):

There is ALWAYS something to smile and laugh about!

Even in the midst of the darkest times and the most desperate circumstances–even when HAPPINESS is nowhere to be found–there is joy. Unlike HAPPiness, joy isn’t impacted by things that HAPPen. Joy is, as Candace said, “simple.” Joy is just there. Joy is not reliant on other things or other people. Joy is self-reliant. Joy is what comes just because we woke up this morning!

Joy is…

So, why do we love Chewbacca Mom so much? Because she reminds us that even when everything around us seems bad, and even when people around us let us down…

EVEN WHEN THE YOGA PANTS JUST DON’T FIT…

…there is SOMETHING to laugh and smile about. Now, go find whatever that something is for you and laugh like nobody’s watching!

Ciao for now!

~Jason

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