“The Power of Silly”

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo by Bart:

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo by Bart

Dean Shareski promotes this idea of The Importance and Seriousness of Silly and it is something I truly believe in, especially in my line of work.  If I wasn’t silly at times I think I would cry!

Earlier in the year we had an event to launch a student mental health package. This led to a visit by Prime Minister (at that time) Julia Gillard and a lengthy whole school assembly.  Some of my students struggle staying focussed at the best of times, however this assembly was much longer than most and tested even the most attentive of students.

For one of my students attending assembly at all has been something we have had to work on.  When he arrived last year it was difficult to even get him into the gym for an assembly, let alone sit through lengthy presentations.

The expectation that he should sit in the same spot quietly and still for over an hour was a challenge which would require some creative thinking.  Enter my iPhone and some silly faces and wallah – entertainment!

Assembly Antics

Assembly Antics with an iPhone

Most of us reserve our silly for private times but why do we do this?  Is it just because we’re adults now and society deems it inappropriate to have fun?

Don’t get me wrong, obviously what we find funny changes over time.  I remember loving the Goodies as a kid. My brother and I would never miss our 530pm hilarity from Bill, Tim and Oddie. A few years ago (probably 8 or 10 in fact) in a moment of reminiscing I purchased a box set for my brother. We sat down with great anticipation for a night of giggles and laughter, but unfortunately it just no longer quite hit the mark. Should have left that one in the “childhood memories” file.

But I diverge. What I mean to say is that giving ourselves permission to have fun is really important. Important for our kids our and our own wellbeing.

Yesterday at the #EdTechSa conference in Adelaide Paul Huebl shared the image below.  It comes from Angela Maiers and I  like it!


Permission to Play via @AngelaMaiers

So I will continue to give myself permission to be silly, to laugh and play, to dance in public when I hear music playing and to pull a funny face here and there!  I will join in the fun stuff and take more opportunities to be like a kid!


  1. Dean Shareski (@shareski)

    THanks Rhoni for the reference. Silly has become such an integral part of community. It’s used to break down barriers, laugh at ourselves and leads to increased connections and opportunities. While it’s a useful tool for those things, it’s also a means unto itself. It’s part of being human.

    • rhonimcfarlane

      Hi Dean. I am an avid reader of your blog and thoroughly enjoy the conversations you provoke, so thank you for taking the time to comment. I agree with what you say though I would include “happy human”. Some people can be human (caring, generous, thoughtful and empathetic) but lack joy. I think embracing “silly” gives opportunity to build upon our happiness and that of others. Thanks again for always sharing, perhaps one day you will come to the Open “Down Under”!

  2. thesoupoflife

    I can not promote the benefits of silliness enough.
    I’m on my second attempt at blogging. The first was full of family problems and social issues. My current one is focusing (where possible) on being silly.
    I know which one makes me feel better!

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