PLAY!

Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as “pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity.” Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human.
— (On Being with Krista Tippet: June 19th, 2014)
 Design by Sarah Duet, as a result of sitting down to the computer for some "play time"

Design by Sarah Duet, as a result of sitting down to the computer for some "play time"

I love play...all kinds: imaginative, competitive, group, and solitary. That said, as I've gotten older, I often find myself avoiding opportunities to play. Sometimes that's probably due to the influence of our highly utilitarian culture that glorifies work and achievement while compartmentalizing play as a thing for children only...for adults it's "wasting time." And sometimes that's honestly due to a fear of looking ridiculous in front of peers or getting too heated in a competitive moment and losing control of my emotions. Neither of these is a legitimate reason to sacrifice play and all it's benefits, and I thank Dr. Stuart Brown for reminding me of that. 

I listened to this interview last week and shortly thereafter found myself at a party where a game was introduced. I felt the normal tug to find an excuse to exit, but then remembered this and decided to stay and give it a shot. I'm grateful I did and can now strongly recommend the game Mafia to you and yours if you're looking for a good party game anytime soon...

Listen to the interview below or at OnBeing.org.