Playing is fun. No matter what your age.
Playing releases endorphins that make us feel good. It allows friendly competition without fear of serious consequences.
Except for those few who lose sight of what a game is.
Then there’s the laughter that often comes with playing. Anywhere from tickled giggles to deep belly laughs.
The group I work with engaged in a morning of fun. Partly as a wonderful break from a lot of input and deep emotional engagement. Partly to get to know one another better.
I’d assumed the dead Greek guy was Plato. But I googled it and found it to be much more current than ancient Greece.
Richard Lindgard, 1670, wrote in a book on gentlemen’s etiquette, “If you would read a man’s disposition, see him game, you will then learn more of him in one hour than in seven years of conversation….”
We partnered up, got in groups, created skits, played kid games that allowed all of us to let down our barriers. Doing things we wouldn’t think of doing if we were acting “professionally”. In the “Body Connection Game” people raced around to find partners so they could complete the connection called for–nose to foot, elbow to knee, head to back, nose to nose.
Some of the positions looked odd. No one cared. It was laid-back competition that had everyone laughing. The object was fun.
Which engages the rest of the quote from Richard Lindgard: “…and little wagers will try him (the person in play) as soon as great stakes, FOR THEN HE IS OFF HIS GUARD.” (Capitalization mine.)
Play allows us to be ourselves.
Something we all desperately want to be but are fearful of being.
Too often I hide who I really am because I’m afraid of what others might think. Not sure I’ll be accepted. Liked. Valued. Seen as worthy of anyone else’s time. I know I have quirky behavior at times. Don’t we all?
But playing causes me to drop my guard. To bust a move in a room where no one expects it. To let my laugh be as loud as it wants to be.
To not have those self-protective barriers up.
I hide the depth of me because of fear. I’m too much or not enough. It’s not true, but it’s the lie I listen to.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
I’m a masterpiece. It’s hard to even say that with belief. But in Jesus, I am. His work of art. It isn’t till I let my guard down, however, that folks will see the true me.
I need to be good with that, this work in progress that is me. And if it means a more playful mood, so be it.
Let the play begin.