Creating the Serious Stuff of Life Through Play


Play means different things to different people. Most commonly, play implies frivolous fun; something other than work or the serious stuff of life. And yet, play is the central catalyst for creation.

So, what is play?

Nothing exists outside of play. We create all that we know, in play.

We create in play, then cultivate and habituate that which we have created, thus making it so. We often say “play is not real.” But play is not separate from reality. Rather reality is what we arrive at when we play.

Play is like the air we breathe. It’s all around us, but unless we acknowledge its central role in our lives, we don’t mark it. And worse, we don’t leverage its power.

For us humans, it is the social carbon; the building blocks of our social lives. Our complex interactions are made of this social carbon, which, when bonded with other elements in our lives creates that which we call our social life.  By social, I mean the relational lives we live at work, home and all the various spaces we occupy during the course of living. Play is the catalyst that facilitates the chemical reactions that we call love, anger, fear, happiness, conflict, etc.

Play is the way in which we create possibilities and discover new ways of being in the world.  Play is what is created and creates that which is yet to come.

Game: Catch yourself playing today. When did you play? When were you not playing? Note what you labeled as play and what you didn’t label as play.

Join the conversation: What is play for you? How do you play?

NEXT: Recognizing Play

Has one comment to “Creating the Serious Stuff of Life Through Play”

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  1. Tom Blume - April 23, 2018 at 1:53 pm Reply

    Saliha, I know you from AFTA and I am excited to see what appears to be the early stages of an academic focus on play. I have a couple of questions, if you have a few minutes 248-890-2662

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