The Importance of Play

The purpose of our lives is to be happy. ~ The Dalai Lama
You be Jesus, I'll be the monster. ~ Jen (age 4) circa '73, directing her sister Patty (as overheard by their mom)
On my way in to work yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of listening to an interview on NPR with none other than His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. I dig the Dalai Lama (Is that PC to say?) and his philosophy of kindness (understatement), so my 15-minute drive time filled with his 15 minute interview was serendipity at its very finest.

I learned that, although he was enthroned and sent to live in a palace away from his family at the age of four, HH described his childhood as being very happy. He said he loved to play when he was young, as it gave him a sense of the home he had lost so early on. I began wondering if he ever played anything akin to Jesus and the Monster... And then thought, noooo, probably not... Sipping my Venti Iced Cafe Americano and letting his warm voice melt my speakers for a bit, I was happy.

As lunchtime rolled around, I decided to pop out for a salad. NPR was now focused on 20-somethings entering the current job market. And I'm listening to how the Internet is affecting creativity and education for the current generation/s. Studies have been done and, apparently, you put a kid in a room with a crayon and a pad of paper these days and he's more likely to just sit there... waiting until he gets his iPod back... thinking about all of the texts he's missing out on. Not creating or playing.

So. My take-home from my Monday Public Radio Nerdathon? It's actually important to play! Creativity is paramount! Now, I'm sure the universal take-home would, instead, be more focused on the importance of human value and religious harmony. That, and the fact that the market is shitty. But I chose to correlate the snippets and make them apply to my current lifestyle. Sorry, DL. I know that may sound less-than-zen. But I mean well...

As I sat on the laundry room floor with AJ and Lila this morning, simultaneously playing "Words That Start With 'P' " and "Who Can Fit More Socks Into the Publix Truck?", I felt almost vindicated. No longer a moron for our less-than-educational, definitely not store-bought games. Games like: How Many Stickers Can We Put on Mommy's Foot?, Stella Is Not A Horse, Bunny-Hop Through the Bubbles and Onto on the Beach Chair, Why is AJ Naked?, and Let's Make Pizza Out of Mommy's Magazines. I had successfully mind-morphed an interview with a religious leader and a study on youth and the current job market, with an end-result mantra of: Creativity + Play = Enlightenment.

Happy Tuesday!


Anonymous said…
You are sooo right! Play=joy=learn:)There are so many "P" words, so many smiles, so many forever play days etched on the hearts of all moms! I will never open the vegetable keeper & not remember when my child taught me: you can fit a Fisher Price bus in there! Thank you for a smiley morning!
Heidi said…
so weird, i left a comment last night from my phone on this post??

you so crack me up. i tried to come up with game titles, cute and witty, as you did and i failed! pretty sure i only played with empty toilet paper rolls, so what does that tell u 'bout toilet rolls and and empty cottage cheese containers as toys..:)

love how your mind works!!! also, your comments are the sweetest ever. so supportive!

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