I am often struck by the way things turn out differently than we imagine. I remember hearing a remarkable story from Alaska. A local business was providing dog sled rides for tourists. A team of huskies was chained up while the staff was preparing to take a group out for a ride. Then all of a sudden a polar bear appeared on the scene. He saw the dogs chained up and the crew thought for sure that the bear would claim them as his lunch. They tried to calm down the tourists and come up with a plan to help the sled dogs. Then something interesting happened. When the huskies saw the polar bear, they did not growl or lash out or show any sign of aggression. Instead, they got on their haunches and started to wag their tails. They started to play with each other and seemed to be inviting the bear to join in with them. To everyone’s surprise, the polar bear walked over to the dogs and joined in. Instead of eating them, he played with them. Even more, it became a tradition. The same bear returns every year to play with the huskies.
Don’t you love that? So often our preconceived notions are wrong. So often our actions affect others in either positive or negative ways. So often we take ourselves or our situations too seriously. The truth is that worry can lead to anxiety while playfulness can open us up to possibility. Play, laughter and humor can help us change our stance in the world. Playfulness can open the door to relationships, creativity, and a new way of understanding of things.
How can I add a little playfulness to my day?