What do you think when you see grown-ups playing, or dancing or even laughing in public? Let me guess. You think there’s something wrong with them. It’s rude, you think. Childish. A disturbance of the peace. Normally, you’d be right. Except now. Now, it’s after 9/11, and the peace is deeply disturbed – everywhere, globally. And what those grown-ups are doing, playing, dancing, laughing in public is not an act of childish discourtesy, but a political act – a declaration of freedom, a demonstration that we are not terrorized, that terror has not won.
Article by Bernie DeKoven, FUNcoach
A Frisbee, in the hands of people in business dress in a public park, is a weapon against fear. A basketball dribbled along a downtown sidewalk, is a guided missile aimed at the heart of war. Playing with a yo-yo, a top, a kite, a loop of yarn in a game of cats’ cradle, all and each a victory against intimidation. Playing openly, in places of business, in places where we gather to eat or travel or wait, is a gift of hope, an invitation to sanity in a time when we are on the brink of global madness.
Yes, I admit, I am a professional advocate of public frolic. I am a teacher in the art of fun. I hawk my playful wares every time I get a chance, with every audience I can gather, war or peace.
But this is a unique moment in our evolution. America is no longer bounded by its boundaries. We are tied into a network of terror that crosses national divisions with such consummate ease that we are as unsafe in our office towers as Israelis in a supermarket. We have been told that we are at some kind of war against some kind of terror. We are cautioned, daily, that none of us safe. We have to protect the peace.
And I believe that we have far more powerful weapons than any military solution can offer us. And I believe that those weapons can be found in any neighborhood playground or toy store.
FUNcoach Bernie DeKoven will offer a keynote address at the Fifth Annual, All America, 2010 Laughter Yoga Conference, August 26, in Albuquerque, NM, followed by a 2-day workshop in “Playfulness as a Life Skill.” See http://funcoach.org/events.php