Do you, as an adult, ever long for recess? Do you ever hope to ask a co-worker, “Wanna have a catch?” Do you ever feel compelled, as I always do, to brandish a wiffle-ball-bat (a makeshift lightsaber) in defence of the Galactic Republic? In other words, do you ever want to shed maturity and play? If more adults played as they did when they were children, they’d would achieve a happiness, an ecstasy, and a glory long forgotten.
Matthew Burgess writes in his article Serious Play: Odes to the Everyday, “One crucial difference between the children and the college students is that the younger poets really know how to play. They are good at it. I walk in the classroom with a circular green sticker on my forehead and call it my “third eye,” and within minutes, we’re all neon-eyed visionaries. This ability fades as we grow up. By about fourth grade, some students will decline the invitation, and if you walk into a sixth-grade class with said sticker, a few will give you the stink eye. Understandably, they are more skeptical. Because to enter play is to enter into uncertainty. It involves letting go, and it involves the risk that in your looseness, in your un-self-conscious spontaneity, you may say or do something strange, something that someone could shame you for.”
I agree with Burgess’ claim that to play, one must ” let go.” As adults, we must let go of self, ego, and reputation and embrace wonder and spontaneity. Sound dangerous? For an adult it is. At some point in our lives, we’ve all been told, “It’s time to grow up.” I suggest, from time to time, we stride against the tide and, now and then, become that which we often believe foolish. Become the child.
When I was nine-years-old, Star Wars was released. It changed my life. My childhood playtime became an adventure. I lost myself in a fantasy world. Today, almost thirty years later, I’m still pretending, with my son, to wield a lightsaber, to jump into hyperspace, and to strengthen my connection to the Force. I let go of myself and become something else. And it makes he happy.
Adults, it’s time to play. Become the child. It will make you happy.
- Why I never turn on my lightsaber (dream) (everything2.com)
- Planning a Sleepover Birthday Party for Your Son (personalcreations.com)
- Nick Ranks His Favorite Lightsaber Duels, Oh My! (starwarsrise.com)