Our lives are part of an epic, eternal story and I think fun is a big part of that. It is not an escaping from reality—but entering it more fully.
Laughter, play, and sport all serve to break down barriers and build bridges of relationship. People are more likely to trust and share their hearts with those who make them laugh. Play, and sport, done the right way, can draw people in from the edges of a group, making them feel more at home and more willing to participate in a greater way.
Every now and then fun, laughter and a smile can be holy.
A while back, via Twitter, I reached out to Spikeball (TriVolle) to see if we could get 6 sets donated. The idea was that international high school students teach a relatively unknown game to refugees arriving every day into our local community. Spikeball didn’t send us the 6 sets, they sent us 36 sets. Besides not being able to get the delivery in the front door of my flat, the vision started to grow.
People from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, UK and the United States gathered around and played Spikeball.
We when arrived at the Refugee center it was not a happy place. Over the course of an hour and a half, I witnessed a transformation. As we left there was joy, lots of smiles and new friends.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get photos once the crowd gathered. We also taught basketball skills and they showed us a thing or two about soccer. One Somali told me that anyone having fun or playing sport, where he is from, would have been shot or a bomb (grenade) would have been thrown into the area.
I got to witness some incredible moments provided by some willing students and some generosity on behalf of Spikeball.
Since we’ve introduced Spikeball to communities in Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Austria. It’s also become a regular part of my Power of Play presentation.