Play is like oxygen

“When we lack that feeling of lightness in what we do it should be taken as a warning sign. It should be as alarming as chest pain or shortness of breath when we climb stairs, a high blood sugar reading, [-p.150] or anemia. If we had a simple test for play like we do for diabetes or high blood pressure, we could look at a number and realize that we are in danger. But we don’t have such a test. Instead we have a smoldering, play-deficient sense that something is missing in life, that we are not getting the feeling of joy and energy that we once did.” (pp.149-150)

“Play refreshes and fuels a long-term adult relationship. In a healthy relationship it is like oxygen: pervasive and mostly unnoticed, but essential to intimacy. …Take play out of the mix and, like a climb in the oxygen-poor ‘death zone’ of Mount Everest, the relationship becomes a survival endurance contest. Without play skills, the repertoire to deal with inevitable stresses is narrowed. Even if loyalty, responsibility, duty and steadfastness remain, without playfulness there will be insufficient vitality left over to keep the relationship buoyant and satisfying.” (p.166)

Ref: Stuart Brown (2009) Play: How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul. Avery: New York

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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