Playing is something that most people don’t consider when you think about “essentials to growing up”. As children, we play to our heart’s content, not caring about what others are thinking. It’s just like in the TED talk on the decline in play, when it was mentioned that animals played. It is essential for animals to play when they were young as it teaches them life skills. However, I wonder, when did we ever realize that we should stop playing? As animals began to start living on their own, did they think that they should start playing? Or rather did they implement the knowledge they gained from playing into their taking on the real world.
When did we think “This is so childish, I need to mature.”
To this day we see that kids are going out less and tend to stay inside more because of technology. But, then again, it’s not always technology that ruins everything, but the influence of other people. I feel that once we started to attend school, the amount of play would decrease. Kids who goofed off at the slightest and attempted to entertain the class would be instantly reprimanded. We soon see that play is wrong because of the expectations of school. However, wasn’t play the one thing that helped us understand the world? We explored the nook and crannies of our backyard, we pretended that we were princesses, firefighters, and so many other things. It allowed us children to want to become whatever we wanted. Our play allowed us to create goals and dreams that we would follow in the future.
Yet, school, the place we attend so we can achieve our goals, shattered our dreams. They told us that it would be impossible. Adults telling us “That job would get you nowhere”.
In my opinion, I think school should allow more play time. More time to interact with each other within the classroom that doesn’t involve talking about politics or analyzing the graph of a parabola. But instead talk about our lives, play games that we enjoy, go out and bask in the sunlight. Through play, we would be able to express our thoughts about our life instead of focusing on memorizing terms and formulas to get the perfect score on a test that is not suited for everyone. Like in the podcast “The Rules Can Set You Free“, they talk about how the games begin to become less exciting as they have more rules. You are stripped away of our freedom and are forced to be the same as everyone else. Repeating, repeating, and repeating.
The picture above was a bonfire that SeaLeaf had back in October. I wanted to feature this as this was a time where we spent hours at the beach, playing games, eating food, and messing around in water. This was where I was able to meet my current group of friends, and I’m thankful for our opportunity to spend our youth playing so I could meet them. If I had just stayed cooped up in my house, I would have never met such wonderful people.
In my picture included above (this may seem slightly off topic, but I feel that this hits home and relates to this a lot), is the Korean Pop boy group BTS. They had released a two part album that is called “화양연화 The Most Beautiful Moment In Life”. This album has the theme of youth, the time of your life in which anything and everything is innocent and a wonder. (People may usually avoid foreign music as they don’t understand, but music has no boundaries.)
The band members are in their early twenties, the age in which people are in the real world, expected to enter the work force and start their way to making an impact on society. However, within their music videos, it shows them spending time with each other, as if there is no tomorrow. In their title track “Run“, (linked) the members are seen messing around and brings a fresh concept to the music industry as well as conveying a message people turn a blind eye to.
Even though the lyrics of their songs seem like any generic love song, there are still tones of them experiencing something new. They explain that, “the compositions of the songs on the album were not just concentrated on the beautiful and healthy side of youth, but also tackled the dangerous and nervousness of being young. It’s a combination of both the bright and dark sides of growing up.”
In their song “Young Forever” (click on the title for the music video // turn on “CC” for English subtitles) there are lyrics that are really touching to me:
“Even when I fall and hurt myself, I keep running toward my dream”
During our youth, we are still flexible and we are able to make mistakes. And during our rough times, we are able to get up again and attempt to follow whatever route we desire to take. We all make mistakes in our youth, but that’s why as they say, it’s the most beautiful moment in life.
To conclude, our youth is a very precious time that we usually take for granted. We desperately want to grow up and we begin to consider that play is something that we shouldn’t do, due to societies expectations. But we should shatter those ideas and continue to play as we grow.
(Here’s another song with lyrics that relate to a “Blooming Youth”. Give it a read. Click here. Scroll to the bottom for English translation. It gives you insight on the thoughts and fears of the youth of this generation.)