The intensity of exuberance

“In group celebrations we find exuberance differently. A love of festivities is universal, observed William James, and in many respects celebration is yet another form of human play. The same acts are experienced more intensely when performed in a crowd than when done alone. In a large and festive group, our actions build in response to those around us; they reverberate and gather energy. Celebrations are not as circumscribed as more ritualized and formal group gatherings; improvisation, playfulness, and exuberance hold sway. We celebrate the end of precarious times—war and winter, for example—and times of great accomplishment: Lindbergh’s landing in Paris, a footstep on the moon, or a political success. The intensity of exuberance varies, of course, depending upon the size of the group and whether the celebration is of a private or more public nature”.

page 168 from the book Exuberance by Kay Redfield Jamison