Friday, August 27, 2010

Reflections on Goofing Off

Contributed by JC Boushh

I just recently read a blog post titled “The Power of Goofing Off” and started to reminisce about the freedom I had to goof off. Funny that this topic would come up especially since just last evening my church pastor was telling the congregation that he really liked me because I was such a goof off. Where did this ability to goof off come from? Was it my environment as a child, was it a genetic code embedded within my DNA, or was it this deep psychological need for attention? I think that it may be a bit of all those things that at the age of 46 I am still just a big goof off. My teenage kids seem to constantly remind me of this fact. “Dad you’re so weird.” But in my defense there really is a power behind goofing off. It has given me imagination, creativity, a positive outlook on life, and easiness when I talk to new people.

If I really reflect on the beginning of my ability to goof off I would have to point to my ability to experience the joys of free-play and the ability to pretty much be a Free-Range Child. My childhood was filled with play experiences that fostered my ability to goof off. I could ride my bike around the neighborhood and down to the creek without adult supervision, I played dodge ball and tag during recess with my friends, and when I played a practical joke I did not have to worry about getting expelled, sued, or arrested. Somewhere between by childhood and my kid’s childhood goofing off became a crime and a discouraged activity. So many adults have forgotten the power of goofing off and without even realizing it have become their own parents uttering the dreaded words “Act your age.”

In many ways I feel sorry for the generation of kids we are raising because many of them will never be encourage or allowed the joy of goofing off. I hope that adults will take a step back and take of that tie and jacket, forget about test scores for a few minutes, and take a step back and allow their child to experience independence. The power of goofing off is the power to truly experience the joys of life in a simple childlike way that only a child’s mentality can experience. So take a few minutes out of your day and pull a joke on someone, tickle your kids till the cry, and act like a total geek by singing to a Rockband song from your youth, but take the time to goof off and believe me your day will be a better day.