All work without Play makes Jack a dull boy!

We all know that play is important for kids.

Play teaches them coordination, adult roles, social interaction, and basic problem-solving skills. But somehow, we’ve fallen prey to the idea that play is only important for kids. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” That’s what we all say now that we’re all grown. But, it turns out that play is good for absolutely everything.

Playing involves exercise, which is a good thing, but there’s more to it than that. Play relieves stress, easing relaxation. Play releases a whole range of feel-good chemicals in the brain, which not only makes play fun but relieves tension across the whole of our bodies. Thus, Play is good for our health. Feeling pressure? Get up and dance!

Playing creates a state of hyper-creativity that quite literally changes the way we see the world.
In this mind-set, nothing is just what it seems – things take on new forms, problems seem not just solvable but trivial, and we feel empowered to take on the world, that’s good for our brains too, I think.

Social bonds are created in Playing. There’s evidence that the earliest social bonds we make – those between our infant selves and our parents – are primarily playful ones. The newborn infant doesn’t encounter other people as people but just as extensions of self that are more-or-less reliable. As the infant develops a sense of its own identity and begins to recognize other people as beings with identities of their own, it begins to learn play and sociality at the same time. Enter mom or dad, leaning down and making googly-eyes at the smiling baby – bam! Sociality achieved. That doesn’t go away as we get older – play is still a rock-solid foundation for social behavior. It’s why people who can’t stand each other can bond over a soccer game between Zambia and South Africa. Tomorrow might be back to the same old everyday loathing, but for today… (And maybe tomorrow will be different, after all!)

When’s the last time you played? I mean, really played. When’s the last time you plopped yourself in front of a mirror, turned your eyelids inside out, stuck out your tongue, and sung “The A Team” theme song in the bathroom? The last time you grabbed your kid, threw him/her up in the air, and laughed with him/her in glee? (And hopefully you caught him/her on the way down!) Or chilled with family or friends over a board game or some cold liquid gold? Or just went all wiggly all by your lonesome?
We get to feeling so darn serious, it’s hard to play, to let ourselves play. You know your life has gone down an evil, evil path (the Dark Side is strong, but… well, it’s Dark huh!) especially when playing makes you embarrassed, even when you’re alone. I suggest you fix that.

Fortunately, I have a proven effective remedy for play deprivation: GO OUT AND PLAY! Come on, you know how! That’s right, shake your booty, wave your arms around your head like a mad-person, tell your workmate you love her but you’re not a cannibal and interfaith relationships are so difficult – do something downright childish. That’s an order, soldier!

And here’s the thing: spending some profoundly non-serious time with yourself or with others may well make you better at all that serious stuff that’s been sucking at your soul and preventing you from playing in the first place. You’ll feel better, be more relaxed, and enjoy more creativity.

See yah on the play side of life!!! 

We all know that play is important for kids.

Play teaches them coordination, adult roles, social interaction, and basic problem-solving skills. But somehow, we’ve fallen prey to the idea that play is only important for kids. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” That’s what we all say now that we’re all grown. But, it turns out that play is good for absolutely everything.

 

Playing involves exercise, which is a good thing, but there’s more to it than that. Play relieves stress, easing relaxation. Play releases a whole range of feel-good chemicals in the brain, which not only makes play fun but relieves tension across the whole of our bodies. Thus, Play is good for our health. Feeling pressure? Get up and dance!

 

Playing creates a state of hyper-creativity that quite literally changes the way we see the world.
In this mind-set, nothing is just what it seems – things take on new forms, problems seem not just solvable but trivial, and we feel empowered to take on the world, that’s good for our brains too, I think.

 

Social bonds are created in Playing. There’s evidence that the earliest social bonds we make – those between our infant selves and our parents – are primarily playful ones. The newborn infant doesn’t encounter other people as people but just as extensions of self that are more-or-less reliable. As the infant develops a sense of its own identity and begins to recognize other people as beings with identities of their own, it begins to learn play and sociality at the same time. Enter mom or dad, leaning down and making googly-eyes at the smiling baby – bam! Sociality achieved. That doesn’t go away as we get older – play is still a rock-solid foundation for social behavior. It’s why people who can’t stand each other can bond over a soccer game between Zambia and South Africa. Tomorrow might be back to the same old everyday loathing, but for today… (And maybe tomorrow will be different, after all!)

When’s the last time you played? I mean, really played. When’s the last time you plopped yourself in front of a mirror, turned your eyelids inside out, stuck out your tongue, and sung “The A Team” theme song in the bathroom? The last time you grabbed your kid, threw him/her up in the air, and laughed with him/her in glee? (And hopefully you caught him/her on the way down!) Or chilled with family or friends over a board game or some cold liquid gold? Or just went all wiggly all by your lonesome?


We get to feeling so darn serious, it’s hard to play, to let ourselves play. You know your life has gone down an evil, evil path (the Dark Side is strong, but… well, it’s Dark huh!) especially when playing makes you embarrassed, even when you’re alone. I suggest you fix that.

Fortunately, I have a proven effective remedy for play deprivation: GO OUT AND PLAY! Come on, you know how! That’s right, shake your booty, wave your arms around your head like a mad-person, tell your workmate you love her but you’re not a cannibal and interfaith relationships are so difficult – do something downright childish. That’s an order, soldier!

And here’s the thing: spending some profoundly non-serious time with yourself or with others may well make you better at all that serious stuff that’s been sucking at your soul and preventing you from playing in the first place. You’ll feel better, be more relaxed, and enjoy more creativity.

 

See yah on the play side of life!!!

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

This is one of Shakespeare’s lines. It is amazing because whether you think you can or cannot be, you are right. It is up to you. When you put your mind on anything you want to do in your life you can do it and if you put your mind on not doing anything, that, also, you can do.  I have met many people who have told me that they cannot be or go further in their lives. Some have told me things like “some of us are poor, we were born like this and there is nothing we can do about it we will remain like this.” Well, I think that is a lot of crap. Does this mean that the road to success asserts that the people born poor are consumer people and not productive ones? The answer is a one big NO!

As George W. Carver puts it, “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses”. We all have what we think are valid excuses for not achieving our goals. If you knew for a fact that you would be paid  1 million dollars to do something that you are talented to do, you would do it without  one second of delay  – in which case you’d be choosing ‘TO BE” as opposed to ‘NOT TO BE’. This may sound cryptic, but it is reality and it is happening in the world today to people of all races and gender.

Some few years ago [around 2003], maybe even now, Zambia had many children living on the street (street kids). When I say children I mean kids as young as four (4) years old, without warm clothes or beddings for the night [thank God Zambia is not as cold as South Africa]. I usually spoke to these kids after knocking off at night. I mostly gave them some left over food from my place of work, a fast food take away called Hungry Lion in Livingstone. I was a branch manager at this fast food store and I made it a must that all left over foods were kept for these, poor little, angles on the street.

Two of these ‘street kids’ aged 14 and 15years decided to be out of the street life. I cannot really remember their names, so for the sake of this article I will call them Jim and Jack. I have chosen these names only because they are easy for me and have no real meanings.

During the day, Jim and Jack begged on the streets for money to buy bread or pap [Nshima in Zambia]. At the end of day, they would put whatever they collected, used some for the most needed food and put the rest aside. In no time, the boys stopped begging because they bought some sweets, cigarettes, candles etc, that they started selling at night on the same streets they were sleeping or rather called home. It was not easy, but they wanted to be out of the streets one day, so they persisted. Thy stopped to whine and stopped begging. They woke up and stood on their own feet. They recognized and learnt, from successful people, what it takes to succeed. In short, they adopted the “devil-may-care” attitude and the “killer-instinct and whatever-it-takes attitude”.

We all have gifts, you know like special ones. I was watching some athletics on TV the other day and some guy from Jamaica beat he’s own record that he set at the Olympics last year, in 2008. I was, and still, thinking there are more than ten people in the world today who can  set a much more lower record in time than this Jamaican guy, but the only reason these people are not known is that they luck that “devil-may-care” and the “killer-instinct” attitude that this Jamaican world record holder has. These unknown – world record holders – concentrate on their inner voices that tell them not to reach their God – given potential.

Today, the one who was 14yrs [Jack] is now 20yaers and the other one [Jim] is now 21yaers and the two have a shop selling quality shoes in Livingstone-Zambia. They are now enjoying the basics of every day life that most people take for granted like having electricity and running water, a bed and some warm bedding (especially in winter and rainy seasons) and mostly the walls and a roof that one can call home. These boys chose TO BE out of the streets and NOT TO BE in the streets.

Did I tell you that these boys did not get any Government grant or some kind of donation from any Non-governmental organization or even me? They did it on their own. They are such an inspiration, to me in my quest to what I want to be and not to be in this lifetime that we all have.

The two boys or rather, young men in this article are alive and still doing their business in Livingstone – Zambia

Get out of the Box and Make the most of who you really are