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Bernard L. De Koven

The Urgency of Playfulness

'Joy is not fashionable, what’s fashionable is panic, depression, medicalization

In her article The Urgency of Playfulness, (yes, urgency) Caitlin Creeper writes:

Living a playful life doesn’t mean you don’t work hard or study hard. You can live a playful life and still make the intelligent, well-informed choices and decisions of a grown-ass woman. It just means being present more, responding directly to your own life more. It means less philosophizing about future situations down the track, less looking back on things you wish you could change. It means waking up energized, curious and hopeful. And ultimately means taking more time to do all the things that make you laugh and smile : surfing, skiing, dancing, painting, singing out loud on Justin Bieber songs, playing squash !!! Whatever it is, this should be part of your daily life, and NEVER feel guilty for all the time you allow to it. Play time should actually be a top priority!! After all, why are we here if it’s not to have hell of a good time?

Here's another quote from her article:

Playing opens a new time and space in a connection that is a bond,” says teacher Maria Amelia Pereira, in what is most possibly the most beautiful few sentences I think I've ever heard:

“When a child plays, it’s just them and the world.

“Because a child doesn’t live to play - playing is living.

“When a child is playing they are totally responding to their own lives.

“Life is expressing itself inside them.”

She also cites a video called Drops of Joy, which is as beautiful as it is inspiring (you'll find the preview below, you can stream the whole film for free here)

"Urgency," she says. Your playfulness is that important, that essential, that necessary to our well-being and to the well-being of our planet.

The Urgency of Playfulness is a rich, impassioned article. I recommend you read all of it. And, when you have the time, you watch all of the Drops of Joy documentary.

In the mean time, here's a drop of realism:

There are 45,000 articles on melancholy and depression in specialized US psychology journals, says analyst Ricardo Goldenberg.

There are less than 400 on joy.

'Joy is not fashionable,' Goldenberg says. 'What’s fashionable is panic, depression, medicalization of daily life.'


About the Author

Bernard De Koven is the author of The Well-Played Game. He writes on theories of fun and playfulness and how they affect personal, interpersonal, community and institutional health.