Silliness Is Serious Business


“If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever happen.”
(Ludwig Wittenstein, philosopher, 1889-1951)

I admit: Serious people without a silly side turn me off. G.K. Chesterton put it best: “The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly.”

I was raised a Calvinist and learned to expect seriousness at every turn. Fortunately my father, himself a Calvinist and preacher to boot, was a silly man who could wiggle his nose and ears, joke frequently, and laugh at himself. Thanks to him I learned early on that silliness saves us from taking ourselves too seriously and life with a joyful touch.

It’s hard to talk about being silly. One has to be silly first and not worry about what serious people think of you. And a good laugh is infectious. I told a really bad joke in the dentist’s office today: “Anyone know of a bird called a gulp?” No one answered. “It’s a little bigger than a swallow.” There were were a few outright laughs and a snicker of two. of course, I had just emerged from the dentist’s office wearing rabbit ears. My dentist, himself a devotee of silliness, was wearing a large green hat in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Seriousness should be the eighth deadly sin (if one believed in sin). There is a graceful spirit which marks the incredible lightness of Being and that’s why if there is a heaven there will be much laughter, perhaps even a few jokes.Thin Place Photo

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Filed under humor, John C. Morgan, laughter, Philosophy and Ethics, Silliness

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