Do you remember when you were a child, and grown ups seemed really…well, grown up?
Do you remember going to secondary school and the boys in the sixth form looked like full grown men? I mean proper full grown men with beards and everything?
If you’re of a certain age, do you remember thinking ‘Buzz’ from Home Alone looked really old?
The thing is, when we’re children we think grown ups have it sorted. We think they’ve got this life thing worked out. We think they know what’s going on, what to do, when to do it and how to do it properly.
Little did we know, that they’re all winging it really.
As we get older, we don’t necessarily feel that old, and we look at the people we once thought were proper grown ups with a knowing empathy. We look to the parents who are feeling their way through the dark. We look to the business people who are pretending to know what they’re on about. We look to the CEOs who are hoping they don’t get found out one day.
Aren’t we all just playing?
Like the child playing grown ups, aren’t we all still just playing grown ups?
A child plays with some bricks and knocks them down. An adult buys houses, renovates them and sells them on.
A child scribbles on paper and sticks them together with sticky tape. An adult designs a brochure.
A child dresses up in a super hero outfit. An adult dresses up as a character on a film set.
A child plays with stickers. An adult sticks post it notes all over the wall.
A child draws a house. An architect draws a house.
A child paints a monster. An adult makes a monster for a Pixar film.
A child makes a spaceship out of boxes. An adult makes a spaceship.
A child counts his toys. An adult counts the profit and loss figures.
So, which came first?
The adult playing big versions of kids games, or kids playing little versions of adult games?
As a child likes to create with forms, so an adult sees the situations in their life as their playground.
What if a new opportunity arises to work abroad, we don’t know what it will turn out like. But if we never go we’ll never know, and to simply ‘play with it’ is beautiful. To attach to the outcome, or to seek fulfilment in the destination or situation is where adults go wrong. This is the single no. 1 reason children play better than adults…
A child doesn’t get their sense of self worth from the things they create, they just create for the sheer joy of creating.
Only when adults begin to label such creations as bad or good, win or lose, successful or unsuccessful that they begin to attach to the outcome of their games, and they ultimately become less playful for fear of ‘losing’ or ‘looking stupid’.
Look to the child scribbling for the joy of scribbling.
They don’t care what it ends up like.
They move on straight away to the next piece of paper.