March 24    

Today's quotation:

We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.

Charles Schaefer

Today's Meditation:

I hope that I never stop playing.  I enjoy it immensely and I get a lot out of it--a lot of learning, a lot of relaxation, a lot of perspective, and simply a distraction from the other things in my life that tend to be more stressful.  I like playing with kids who aren't worried about all the things that adults worry about, I like playing with adults who also recognize the importance of play, and I like playing on my own, just enjoying my time and my ability to spend it doing something fun.

Sometimes it's kind of tempting to think too much about play.  The best part of play is its spontaneity, the feeling that we're just doing something fun just for the sake of doing it.  Most of our sports have become too intense and too competitive for them to be tons of fun any more--we still say that we "play" football or basketball or baseball, but unless we're playing with someone else who's just out there to have fun, the fun can very quickly go out of these games.

Do you play enough?  Do you do things that are fun simply for the joy of doing so?  Do you allow fun to be fun, without thinking about it too much or allowing it to become too competitive?  Many of us watch our kids play, but don't play with them.  Or we watch our dog play, but we don't play with it.  Play is something that can take all of your focus and concentration and allow you to spend some time completely immersed in an activity that can make you feel relieved, exhilarated, and thoroughly rested mentally.

Play is so important to us that I very often wonder why so many of us do it so rarely.  Why might that be?

Questions to consider:

What are your favorite kinds of play?  How often do you play?

How might we go about giving ourselves the chance to play more?

Why do so many of us give up playing as we grow older?

For further thought:

The real joy of life is in its play.  Play is anything we do for the joy and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion, or sense of duty.  It is the real living of life with the feeling of freedom and self-expression.  Play is the business of childhood, and its continuation in later years is the prolongation of youth.

Walter Rauschenbusch

more on play



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