When I was young, my dad would take us kids on trips to the grocery store. While there, he would -- with seemingly absolute spontaneity -- begin bouncing, hopping up and down behind the cart as he pushed it through aisles of canned soup and dry cereal. This led to fits of giggles from his pile of six kids, and a much better grocery buying experience for everyone.
Silliness is an oft-dismissed quality -- understood as something belonging to tween girls and the comedy stylings of Monty Python. But I would propose that silliness is indispensable. Silliness reminds us of our place in a vast and ever-expanding universe. We are infinitesimal specks on this enormous universal canvas. In that context our plight seems, well, silly. Twelfth Night is a silly play, but for all its silliness an undercurrent of profound truth emerges. I believe Shakespeare recognized the important role silliness plays in our lives and used it. He used it, not only as my dad did to enliven the mundane, but also as a philosophical red nose keeping us aware of own delightful insignificance.