Kids get it. Adults were kids once, but like all the classic movie plots (The Polar Express, Mr. Magorium's Emporium...) remind us, we eventually forget the art of play. Because we are good at achieving and reaching and get sucked all too soon into the hurry/do/go of our culture, we forget to see the magic in moments. And in doing so, we forget to see that the magic outside us also lives within us. I know I did.
- We all remember how to do it...we might just need a little reminding
- It's paradoxical: it makes time seem to stop and yet it makes time go by fast
- It's highly productive, satisfying, fulfilling and entirely healthy
- There is an incredible return on the investment of play
So why is play so far out of our consciousness as adults? Why do we tend to resist it? Scoff at it? Because we are a hardy lot, raised on the western ideals of working hard, being industrious and ultimately, "fighting" for what we believe in. Hmm. We're good at rising to the occasion, rallying and "picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off", as Obama called out to us all in his recent Inauguration speech. Granted, I am a huge fan of our new leader and I responded accordingly. Because I'm good at that. Responding. Acting. Doing something. Getting busy. But aren't we all? Ask me to rise up and I immediately take the bait with a resounding "yes". But invite me to play for while and I hesitate or, worse yet, panic.
It seems I am not alone. We are a nation fundamentally out of balance. Perhaps it's time to revisit that age-old notion of "work hard, play hard". We're got the "working" part down pat. Now it's time to play!