Playfully Good

All work and no play is no way to live, Fredrik Heiding, S.J. thinks.

Playfully Good
“Let us also smile even if it was a difficult day, because we see the hope,” said Pope Francis. Photo by Bohumil Petrik, courtesy Catholic News Agency.

If a handbook for living a virtuous, Christian life existed, some virtues would be self-evident. Honesty, courage, forgiveness, respect. But playfulness? While speaking at the Ignatian Center’s Bannan Forum, Fredrik Heiding, S.J., visiting fellow at the Jesuit School of Theology, argued that play—and laughter, dance, and witty banter with it—is just as important as the more serious stuff.

“Play is especially important in Silicon Valley because there’s a value system here dominated by effort and achievement, which creates a lot of pressure so recreation is necessary to release stress…But we must remember that like other virtues, play is meant to be done for its own sake, not because it’ll make the iPhone 15 a little better. You are supposed to lose a sense of time when being playful. You surrender, give yourself over to the play. You are absorbed.” – Fredrik Heiding, S.J.

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