Why play?

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”
-Carl Jung

Through what I’ve learned advocating for children’s play with the fantastic nonprofit Sunflower Creative Arts, I’ve decided that the biggest obstacle to kids just being able to play… is us adults. After all, we’re the ones in charge; as parents and educators, our worldview is constantly shaping our children’s lives, for better or worse.

So, I thought, why not tackle the play deficit problem at its root?

If we’re ever going to truly change the world for our children, we need to start with a basic bone-deep level of understanding. We need to lose ourselves in the fabulous flow of this basic human need–not as would-be children, but in our own adult ways. Maybe then we’ll truly realize what our society is attempting to deny our children–and we’ll be outraged enough to shake things up and finally, for real, do something about it.

Because there’s also this: I think the biggest obstacle to adults finding meaning and happiness is their inability see the magic and wonder in their everyday lives. Simply put, we adults have forgotten how to play. What if someone grabbed us and shook us and woke us up from this collective dream. What if we all remembered how to play? How awesome would that be? The possibilities–for personal happiness, for creativity, for better communication and understanding– are infinite.

Adults need to play too! Who wants to join me!?

© Jaime Greenberg and discovered in play, 2013

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