I’ve long been a fan of Improv Everywhere, so it’s no surprise that I watched Charlie Todd’sTEDxBloomington talk on The Shared Experience of Absurdity. If you’ve never heard of Improv Everywhere it will give you a great introduction, and if you have, it will give you some laughs.
Charlie describes Improv Everywhere as “causing a scene in a public place that gives people a positive experience”. And it is inspired by moments – a moment of looking up, for example (watch the video and you’ll know what I mean). Which made me think about happiness. There seems to be an unrealistic expectation around achieving happiness, as if it’s a destination. For me, happiness happens in moments, and I’d like to increase the number of those moments. Denying other emotions for a constant state of happiness may seem like a worthy goal, or not. The ups and downs, slings and arrows of life, simply make the moments of happiness more luscious.
I’m guessing we all have different things that make us happy. Play makes me happy – when I’m with other people willing to let go of what is expected and to play. As kids, we learn that play is a good thing. As adults, we learn that play is a waste of time. Charlie talks in this video about the criticism of Improv Everywhere that ‘these people have too much spare time’. He suggests that someone else might say the same thing about watching a football game. The point, he says, is that there is no right or wrong way to play. And for Improv Everywhere, and many other forms of play, there is no purpose, there is no point. It’s just fun.