Silliness should be a virtue. As adults, many of us spend way too much time being serious. There certainly are a great many reasons to be serious; bills to pay, kids to feed, work to be done. It gets to be an avalanche of duties and responsibilities. I find myself at the end of the day, teeth clenched, my shoulders hunched. So much of what we do as adults is boring, repetitive, and dull; something is needed to break up the monotony. There is so much beauty in the world, and we miss it, our noses to the grindstone, oblivious to what is out there. One day, we tell ourselves, as life passes us by. I think that it is time to stop all that. I think we need to start taking time to be silly.
Silliness is good for our health. A good belly laugh does wonders; loosening those muscles we didn't even realize we were clenching so tight. The laughter created by silliness erupts from our core, clearing out the debris of the past in one fell swoop. The chest opens up, and we can breathe freely once more. Those frown lines disappear, and for a moment we are young again.
Silliness breaks up that monotony, that boredom, that keeps our creativity stagnant and state. Being silly frees us from the "must" in our lives that keep us working late instead of being at home with our families. One of my favorite movies is Parenthood, and one of my favorite lines is when Steve Martin angrily comments, "My whole life is ' have to'". That character was too focused on the 'musts' in his life. He forgot to be silly. That was a wakeup call for me.
So how to be silly? I know how to be serious, but silly is hard.
Silliness doesn't involve elaborate preparation. All you need is something to laugh about. It can be a picture, or a word, or a person. Silly websites with silly cat pictures is another way to get into a silly mood. Talking to your friends can also help.
The very best experts in silliness, however, are children. Silliness and play are their jobs, and they do them well. If you truly want to learn the art of silliness, spend about fifteen minutes a day with a child. You'll have tea parties, and run around in the rain, and before you know it--Boom. Silly.
Suddenly the laughter comes bubbling to the surface, and there's no stopping it.