Posts Tagged ‘learning to live’


May 16, 2018

(Originally written 9/20/14. My grandson is almost 7 now, and STILL teaching me about the value of play, of complete abandonment into the moment, and the tremendous satisfaction of those kinds of relationships!)

Play is priority. Play is primary.

I learned this from my 3-year-old grandson.

I am 62, but looking back, it is almost as if the first 55 years were in black and white. Then I began to get hold of some teachings about manhood and how men were created and designed, and a light bulb went on. It was like (as I mentioned in Legacy 4) color TV had come on the scene. I was fascinated.

But the past 2 years with this child (“a little child shall lead them”) have taught me the intense value of play. Animals learn how to survive by playing. Children do too.

We spend vast amounts of money on play and recreation: sports, vacations, even gaming and gambling, to the point of addiction and self-destruction—I knew a lady who let her marriage go down the tubes playing games like Atari and Nintendo. People take play seriously, and even get seriously overcommitted to it sometimes.

And that defeats the whole purpose of play. Play is intended to be recreational—RE-creating, as it were, renewing and restoring balance in our lives. Laughter has been proven to be healing. We don’t laugh enough. We don’t play enough, in the best sense of what it means to play. Our society is too serious. Looking back, I think when my father committed suicide at age 3, I shut play down. And for whatever reasons, most of us don’t know how to be playful, to simply enjoy life’s moments. Here and there we do, but many times we miss that joie de vivre, the utterly captivating joy that life can be. Even some commercials on TV are an attempt to re-capture that playfulness.

So how do we play effectively? How do we learn to play in ways that are refreshing and life-giving?

  • EXPERIENCE TOTAL ABANDON. I watch my grandson, and he is rapt in the moment. Nothing else matters: He whispers, “STOP!” and holds his arms out. Danger ahead! Some dragon or bad guy. He is into it on all cylinders. Sometimes when he jumps into our arms off the sofa or bed, we are not ready for him. He trusts with total abandon. Life is all in the moment.
  • FORGET THE COST. Play doesn’t have to be costly. Some of the best play times have cost nothing. One of my most memorable summers with my kids was a series of day trips to waterfalls, mountains, play areas. But if cost IS involved, don’t let cost be the focus. Spend what it takes gladly and willingly—but make the moments memorable. They only happen once.
  • LET OTHERS HELP YOU. Play is not solitary. It is meant to be shared. Treasure other people who are playful, and learn from them. Enjoy the gifts people are, just in who they are.

Play can be rewarding beyond measure. It can even be financially rewarding. Entrepreneurs who tap into play-fullness are fortunate in more ways than one!