In my previous post I suggested that play has no purpose – and encouraged us to make all of life more playful by incorporating more things that have no purpose at all!
But, of course, the reality is that life is full of things that ‘have to be done’. I was going to enumerate some of them here – but, quite frankly, you hardly need me to remind you of all your obligations and the nagging demands on your time!
(Often these ‘obligations’ are ones that we impose on ourselves. No one is demanding that I write this blog post – and no one would care if I didn’t – but just at the moment the struggle to articulate my thoughts feels much more like work than play!)
More positively, much of what we do should have a purpose. In the words of Sir Marcus Browning, MP (comic creation of Rowan Atkinson):
Purpose is what we’re striving for. We must have purpose. We mustn’t be purposeless. We mustn’t exhibit purposnessless. We must be purposelessnessless.
It is is right that we don’t waste all the gifts we’ve been given – metaphorically burying them in the ground like the servant in Jesus’ parable of the talents – but rather use them to make a difference for good. To be the agents of change in the world, wherever and however we can.
Nonetheless, in the words of the old saying:All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Click To Tweet
Indeed, more than simply dull, but dulled, diminished, reduced: less than the person we were created to be.
Yes, we need to work – to do things with a purpose, an aim, a goal – but we need to play too!
I don’t subscribe to the idea of a ‘purpose driven life’. I don’t believe our lives should be ‘driven’. We are meant to be childlike, playful people.
But how to be playful when there seems to be little enough time for work, let alone play?
Firstly, choose to take time to play. To do something for no other reason than the sheer joy and pleasure of doing so. And we do have that choice. Not all of the time; perhaps not much of the time; but certainly some of the time. It’s simply a matter of priorities – of whether we believe that play is important (HINT: Yes, it is! Very!)
Secondly, given that we spend much of our time working, make work more playful. By ‘work’ I mean, of course, more than paid (or, indeed, unpaid) employment – I mean anything we do in order to achieve something; anything we do for some reason other than the sheer joy and pleasure of doing so.
And how do we do this? By incorporating into our work elements that have no purpose; things that are quite superfluous and unnecessary, and which play no part in the achievement of our goal – but which add a little joy and pleasure.
What might this look like in practice? I’ve got some ideas for an example – but that’s for another day!
Thank you for reading this. Please do share with others, and let me know what you think. Thank you!