A Way Back - Humor and FUN!
By Kensho Len Silverston, May 2017
“If you have lost your sense of humor, you have lost the way.” Roshi Junpo Dennis Kelly.
Quite a while ago, for about 5 years, I coached soccer to young girls. Before we started each game, I asked, “What’s the most important thing?”
The first time I asked this question, one teammate replied, ‘to win’. Another replied, ‘to get better at soccer’. Another replied, ‘to learn’.
I said, “Would you like to know why I am here and what I think is the most important thing?” They eagerly said yes, and I said to them, ‘For me, the most important thing is to have fun!!!!! We have this gift of being able to play today and why not make the most of it and really PLAY!’
Then for the next five years of my soccer coaching, I started almost every game with this same question, and eventually, the whole team would shout out their answer together, “HAVE FUN!” with excitement and enjoyment‘.
It turned out that our teams had exceptional records, even having undefeated seasons. Without the pressure of winning, ironically, we won a lot!
Many years later, I saw one of the girls that I coached and she was studying at a university. She saw me and said, ‘Hi coach Len’. I asked her, ‘What is the most important thing? She replied, ‘Right now, it is getting the best grades that I can.’ I said to her, ‘You forgot?!’ She remembers and said, ‘Oh yea, I did forget. Having fun in what I am doing is really important and I forgot about it.
Are you Working or Playing?
In the last few decades that I have been in business, I have also forgotten this lesson. There are times where I have been so focused on being successful, learning, growing, achieving, being of service and many other more ‘serious’ matters. No question that these are important also and may be just as, or more important as having fun.
However, it seems that for many of us, we have lost sight of the enjoyment of life in whatever we are doing.
Is it hard to have fun performing some activities? Perhaps. For example, it may be difficult to have fun while we are changing a flat tire in the rain and we know we will be late for an important meeting due to this. Or there may be a tragedy such as a death, where having fun may not be the most appropriate thing to do in all situations and it may be more appropriate to just accept what is happening.
Nonetheless, having fun is a skill. We can often choose how much fun we will have and develop a habit of enjoying life.
So remember to have FUN in life. Being fun is related to being present. What does F-U-N mean:-
- Fully - Be fully engaged and present in life.
- Uninhibited - Remember that there are times to let go of your inhibitions, and let loose to really enjoy life.
- Nonsense – Be silly. Go beyond your senses. Enjoy for no reason (One of my teachers, Roshi Junpo, calls this ‘unreasonable enjoyment’. To be fully present and conscious, there is listening beyond our senses and it is possible to live deeper than our senses.
So, from my own experiences, I have found that to be aware and conscious, it is possible to be grounded in deep purity, emptiness, or non-sense (there are many other ways to describe this).
You deserve to enjoy life. How and when can you have fun?