Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reinstate Playtime!

What happened to play time?

Children have the life, don't they? They wake up and play with their toys and mom makes them breakfast. They go to school and play with their friends. They run around like yahoos reeking havoc on the playground; screaming to their little hearts content. And what do they have by form of responsibility? Sometimes they have to clean their rooms. Maybe feed the dog. That's about it!

They chase each other. They tickle each other. They play board games together. They make up games together. They tell stories together, which usually make no sense, but are funnier than anything I could produce. They've got it made!

Then they get old. Some will hold summer jobs in high school. Many go off to college and get real jobs afterwards. Whatever a "real job" is. And somewhere along the way, playtime stops.

"Don't tickle me. That's childish."

So?! Children understand, so says my philosophy, how to accept people different than themselves; how to love their friends (because they don't know what an enemy is); how to be decent human beings to one another. We adults have so much to learn from them!

Politics don't rile children. Economics don't keep them up at night. Religion is truth to them, and questioning it doesn't seem to cross their beautiful minds.

I'm not saying that responsibility is a terrible thing, though there is a delightful chant my friend Lalei and I say to each other when it seems too heavy a burden to bear. Without going into specifics, we say "Hang it all!"

With responsibility being a necessary evil, such as money and politics and oil changes, we've allowed it too much power over our leisure time. Responsibility requires a mature brain. It does not require a stiff attitude, though. Be mature, but let a childlike spirit be your outlook. Don't talk to strangers. Rather, talk to friends you've not yet gotten to know. Talk to people as though they were neighbors. Treat them with respect, but allow the conversation to be playful. Make someone laugh when they are frustrated. And not in a malicious way.

I believe we can find a happy medium between playtime and responsibility. I don't believe they have to be distinct from one another. I think if everyone adopted my philosophies, the world would be a better place. But, maybe that's my inner child talking. He still thinks the world revolves around him.

1 comment:

  1. Children are amazing. I love that I get to spend my days observing and joining children in play. Thanks for sharing, Ben!