“Hey! Don’t do that!”
“Be careful! That kid might be a biter.”
“She might pull your hair.”
“He might be a bedwetter, and you just stopped doing that.”
These were the well meaning, but confusing, voices of our parents and guiding mentors while we were growing up. When all we wanted to do as kids was to play outside with our friends, or the new kid next door.
But we can’t totally blame them. They grew up. They thought they knew “better”.
Call it Fear or Maturity. Somewhere between childhood and becoming a smart, dignified, stuffy Adult, we lost the ability to take a moment and just play. We tell ourselves,
“Don’t make friends with the new guy. He probably wants your job.”
“Don’t sing in the car. It’s dumb.“
“Don’t dance in the grocery aisle. You’ll look weird .”
You know what’s weird?
- Not laughing at a fart.
- Seeing a can of Play-doh and not feeling the temptation to open it, smell its distinct aroma and getting your fingers all up in it.
- Not singing along to this.
If we want to have better lives, there’s no self-help book or seminar that will make it clearer than the fact that we simply need to play.
From Play comes Joy. When we’re Joyful, we’re more likely to be productive. We’re more creative and better at solving problems. Basically, we’re better humans.
Find that kid again. I’m not talking about your “Inner Child”. I’m not suggesting you crawl on the floor, poop your pants and throw tantrums.
Find the kid that remembers what it’s like to use Imagination. Then use it to lead you.
From there you’ll find Purpose, Potential and you might have a little fun while you’re doing it.
Go outside. Unless you’re already outside. Then just look at the sky for a minute or two. See how many people begin to look where you’re looking, wondering what you’re looking at. Even though you’re not looking at anything but the sky. It’s hilarious!
Create worlds. Rescue the Princess. Or Prince. Dance when there is no music. Color. Sing.
And when you begin to hear those “Adult” voices in your head telling you to stop, tell them they’re no fun and you’re playing with the new kid. You.
Granny Wendy: So… your adventures are over?
Peter Banning: Oh, no. To live… to live would be an awfully big adventure.