We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.

~ Helen Keller ~

Playful Fun

October 6th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 55 secs

Fun? Me?

You know what’s funny? Just how many people don’t know about having fun. Or if they do, only in a very limited way. Like “now we are watching a comedy so we ought to be having fun.” Why are people like that?

I know it can be cultural. Having a playful attitude at work in Germany, for instance, is liable to trash your career.  Fun is welcomed, but not at work.

Not so in Australia, where it’s generally expected that you can have a laugh. People who don’t often become the butt of humor themselves (Though perhaps that’s more about power than playful fun).

For the record, fun isn’t necessarily about telling jokes or trying to be the clown making people laugh. Though it can be. Fun, to me, is about being playfully relaxed and not taking yourself seriously. It’s slipping over and easily laughing at yourself. Or being open to finding what’s funny; even when everyone is sitting stoney-faced and frowning. That can be funny too, in the right context.

Sometimes, when humorless people surround me, I think it’s just me. That seeing the funny things of life is somehow wrong. Like being able to see color in a world where everyone else only sees black’n’white.

But I know not to trust that. There are plenty of people who see the fun side of life. Lots. And I love each one.

All the same, playful fun isn’t given much regard. People think that it’s just a kid thing. So you have to be immature to enjoy being playful. But don’t you believe it! Hidden under the fun, there’s something central to play. It reveals connectedness.

Fortified with play, you can break through the age barrier with nothing but a wink and a smile. That’s because playful fun is the language we all knew and loved as we grew. Such a shame that in the growing so many people forget what playful fun can do.

Quite apart from the health benefits, emotional relief, and social connection, having fun playing triggers spirited imagination and magnificent new ideas. Across a whole spectrum of pluses, fun-filled play makes life feel happier. Which makes it an ideal answer to how we can live better.

But then, there’s no point pitching proofs. Fun doesn’t rate well when taken too seriously. Overly formal types insist on dismissing fun anyway. It’s awkward.

Yet, like everything worth enjoying, it’s true; there is a time and a place.  Meaning, if you and I want to enjoy having playful fun we need to choose both; most everywhere and often!

How do you have fun? Do you find playful fun comes naturally? Or are you a bit shy about letting your hair down?


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