Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
George Bernard Shaw

Yesterday was April Fool’s Day, a day for play and jokes and silliness. It’s hard to believe but it has been around since the Middle Ages! While it often focuses on practical jokes it is a day that invites us to keep our sense of humour.

Research has long shown the importance of laughter and play in a child’s overall development and well-being, and now it is showing that the same is valid for people throughout the whole of life. The study of the role of play in adult wellness is given full attention by the American Journal of Play, a scholarly journal that explores the importance of play in both our workplaces and in our personal lives. As a result of this kind of attention to the importance of laughter and play, computer start-ups are now not the only companies that are equipping their break rooms with ping pong or foosball tables. More and more companies are recognizing the positive connections between fun, play, creativity, and team building, and are building those kinds of opportunities into their workplaces.

Research also tells us that, on average, children laugh many more times a day than adults. Adults often think of play as being silly and unimportant and we older folk can easily grow rigid and inflexible. There are many ways that grace can be manifested in our lives and in our relationships. Perhaps we need to find the courage to be silly, to laugh, to have fun and to play.

Do playfulness, laughter, and silliness come naturally for you? What do you think about the idea that humor and play are manifestations of grace? When we have lost our sense of humour, perhaps it is more difficult to respond with grace. Can you think of a time when you either witnessed or experienced such grace? Courage to laugh!