If nothing else, formal education teaches us that silliness amongst adults is strictly forbidden on these fine shores.
“You’re always messing about!”
“Take things seriously.”
“STOP BEING SILLY!”
They tell us this in school.
Inspirational people have shown how you can use humour in the most testing of moments. Nelson Mandela had a famous sense of humour that wasn’t lessened by twenty seven years incarcerated in a South African prison cell. So what’s to say you can’t share a grin with your work colleagues during a slightly less important moment?
Being silly about a subject doesn’t mean you’re not taking it seriously. On the contrary, silliness can help you with a serious matter – it makes you more creative, assists with problem solving and it REALLY annoys the person next to you on the bus.
We live in a country where smiling is considered more suspicious than frowning. The same country where we cover our mouths as we laugh, hiding the ‘shame’ of our happiness from the world. Statistically we giggle less as we grow older. As babies we laugh around 300 times a week. This plummets to 15 times a month as we reach our forties.
Photo by Kyle Tucker
‘Silliness is the sweet syrup that helps us swallow the bitter pills in life’ says Richelle E. Goodrich. The more serious your life becomes, the more important a short, sharp dose of silliness is necessary. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, ‘If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.’ We need to fight back. The war on solemnness begins here.
It’s not always appropriate to moonwalk into the office or blow raspberries at the milkman so how do you enable the silliness in a sensible way?
How about that glorious thing under the bottom of your trouser leg?
The one clothing area that can appear and vanish in the blink of an eye. The one place that you can stamp your identity on and reclaim your silliness WITHOUT compromising your serious place in the world.
Ladies and gentleman. Join the revolution. Put a silly spring back into your step with a pair of ChattyFeet.
And don’t laugh. We’re being deadly serious.