“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Richard Lingard
Adult playfulness has become a subject for academic research in recent years, and one study suggests that playfulness in adults is linked to “innovative attitudes” and “intrinsic motivational orientation,” meaning playful people are more likely to do things without regard for their practical purpose. What would it mean for our chalice community to become more playful? What would it look like to be people of play?
Characteristics of beneficial play activities include being voluntary, interesting, causes you to lose track of time, helps you forget yourself, and breaks routine. Playful activities can be quieter, more solitary pursuits like gardening, working in a woodshop, cycling, or can be group activities like charades, board games, and dancing. Any activity can be playful if it inspires you and gives you joy.
Dr. Stuart Brown runs the National Institute of Play in the United States. Brown notes that play, spirit, and character are interdependent components of healthy human development. It’s in our playing that we can experience intense connection with each other and with the divine. Brown argues that play is essential in developing healthy ways to respond to the complex problems of life, and having a sense of irony can help us cope with whatever life throws at us.
Whether you experience playfulness in quieter activities or in the lively joy of intense camaraderie, take time this month to find your playful zone.
This is the final month of our first year with theme ministry. Themes and our theme groups will begin again in September.
Our final Michael Franti video is a joyful, playful ode to appreciating one another.