So much has been documented on playfulness in the childhood years. And so it should be, as it is very important to human development. For some reason, most of us get socialized into thinking that being serious, hardworking and productive has nothing to do with play.
However, I would like to think that all those playful hours of our childhood are Nature’s way of preparing us to be creative, resilient and ingenious in our more mature years. Because as Joseph Chilton Pearce says, “Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold”.
There’s an old saying that wonders whether we stopped playing because we got old or whether we got old because we stopped playing. I think we never really stop playing, we just do it less spontaneously, less openly and less happily as we rely on our playfulness to help us find solutions, to cope with tension and to simply keep going. Imagine what could happen if instead of just feeding off of the skills we developed as kids to use play and creativity for ‘problem’ solving, we were to continue to develop our playfulness. Can you imagine what might play out?
Like any human talent, play needs nurturing. Nature programs us in the early years to play as if it were our very essence. If we continue to work at that talent by nurturing our playfulness, it might help each of us to uncover our very essence through playful discovery, it might allow us to be (and become) ourselves, it might make us more flexible, more resilient, more creative and quite simply, more human. It might help us contribute to our communities and connect us so that, indeed, the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.