Give us this day our Daily Game, and give us our playfulness that we may play together.
The Daily Game. The game that we find ourselves playing from the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to sleep. The game we’ve been playing since you were old enough to be playful. A slowly changing game. Each day, each turn, each round slightly different, played with always somehow different players, in slightly changing places, for somewhat different reasons. But played, nevertheless, by us, and everyone we play with, every day.
It’s you, your very self, playing passenger or driver, person in a crowd, person on an elevator, lover, spouse, parent, boss, salesperson, chief chef, child.
There are two schools here: The Play Fully school recognizes that the art of the Daily Game is to give yourself over completely, playing more fully, more totally, bringing more and more of yourself and boundless skills and growing wisdom into the game. I attended this school when I wrote The Well-Played Game.
And then there’s the other school. The Play Playfully school. The school that says maybe playfulness won’t help you win. But it will most definitely help you have fun. And in having fun, you’re more fun to play with, and in playing with you, we make the game more fun, and when the game is more fun, we all win.
And then there’s winning.
And from time to time, sometimes timeless time, you find yourself losing. Maybe not lost, but losing enough to remind you that, despite your best efforts, sooner or later, you’ll lose the game forever.
Sometimes I get religious about the whole thing, sometimes I think of fun and laughter as a spiritual experience. Our lives have become increasingly fragile, our world increasingly harsh. It is a miracle that we can laugh at all. And that’s the whole point.
A playful path is the shortest road to happiness.
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