It keeps hitting home with me that as we get older we quit playing and having fun. Especially compared to what we did as children. The adults I see in life seem miserable, in the big scheme of things. They take life so seriously, even when they do play. I see them rebuff the jokesters and kidders; either they don’t get the joke or harumph at the silliness. Oh, not all of them, but too many of them. I sure wish they’d join in on the fun.
There’s a famous story about John Lennon and happiness. Roughly, the story goes, his mother had always told him that happiness is the key to life. When he started school, his teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said he wanted to be happy. The teacher told him he didn’t understand the assignment, and he retorted that he didn’t understand life. As delightful as the story is, it’s an urban legend.
I have wondered why we quit playing and having fun. Busy adults get tired of the questions and antics of kids learning to test their boundaries and limits, so they tell the kids to calm down or sit down and be quiet or even tell them to quit asking so many questions. How do adults think kids will learn anything if they do all of that?!
Wouldn’t it be grand if adults fell into the same awe and wonder about the universe that kids have and kept having fun with learning, creating, and growing? Wouldn’t it be grand if more adults kept having fun?
Another consideration about adults and their level of fun is that we get fearful about trying new things and exposing ourselves to failure and criticism. The irony is that fear takes away from our fun and creativity — there’s that fear of looking ridiculous. Without failure, we don’t learn, at least deeply and thoroughly. It’s too bad that’s not taught to us in school so we can fail our way to success faster.
When you don’t fear failure, you can have more fun exploring your world, you can play more, you can create more.
When you play and have fun, you learn more and appreciate life more.
When you play and have fun, you not only become better, but you also help others get better.
The older we get, the more fun we should have.
Can you come out to play?