The Importance of Play
There is a new craze in town that makes adult coloring books look more like a time out than a good time. Don't get me wrong - I love to color, always have - but just a couple of days ago, I had the privilege of teaching a painting class at a local pub. Talk about straying outside the lines! Several participants hadn't picked up a paintbrush since childhood. When they did, it was almost magical! Though a few were timid, something about having a drink in the other hand seems to allow people stop judging their efforts so harshly, and start remembering how much fun it is to free your creative inner child. Those who relaxed into the moment ended up not only creating a credible piece of art, but having a great time - which is exactly what the evening was all about.
I'm all for hard work and being responsible, yet we aren't put on this planet to just pay taxes until we die. While I'm not advocating drinking here, most of us don't play enough. We get too caught up in "adulting". Long before we're ready for the nursing home, we're acting like all of the fun has gone out of life. We're too serious, judging ourselves and others with a harsh eye. We forget that most biases are learned. As young children, we see everything as an opportunity for fun. New people, places and things are the raw materials for adventure.
As adults, we often see them as challenges.
Joie de vivre is something we're born with, but all work and seriousness, and very little play, does more than make us dull. It steals our joy.
Learning to re-see the world through a child-like lens, we recapture not only our joy, but also our sense of purpose. Life is meant to be lived, to be experienced to the fullest. Some things are hard, but even difficult things can be fun with the right attitude. Variety is what makes life so fascinating.
Here's hoping you enjoy a little play this week!
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