While reading an article on Creativity & Play: The Whole Child and another on What is Self-Expression & How to Foster It?, I realized something deeper about myself and my life’s work.
While my journey obviously started with seeing things wrong with the way that work worked and thus starting my research on The Future of Work, it’s apparent that it has moved well beyond this but I haven’t accepted this truth yet, even though I’ve been mentioning and embedding hints of it in my writing.
What I’m talking about here is how our society as a whole is effectively killing and constraining play in a larger context, beyond just the work world, and thus killing our self-expression, growth, and potential in the process. For example, society as a whole, with our families as representations of them, often try to get us to avoid playing “outside the lines” and would rather we learnt the hard way to “work within them”.
This has made me realize, after looking at my site’s subtitle of Imagining a Better World of Work Through Play, that really what I’m simply trying to do with my life’s work is Imagining a World of Play, one in which the permission to play with our lives isn’t even required but is rather our given expressed sovereign right (which ties into my mantra of Be Real Creative as an expression of How Play Leads Us to Our Authentic Selves).
In saying this out loud, it mirrors with the arc of my life’s story in that I started out “playing within imaginary worlds” but now I’m “imagining a world of play” that we can all truly express ourselves within. This also rings true with what I have learnt through play throughout my life. It is play that has continually allowed me to step outside my shell and become something much larger than my previous self with each passing year.
And finally, it mirrors with how my journey started, when I read The Cluetrain Manifesto many years ago. At the time, I thought it was all about just the work world but the final closing paragraph of the book made me realize over the years that this Big Shift we’re encountering is going beyond just work as well.
Imagine a world where everyone was constantly learning, a world where what you wondered was more interesting than what you knew, and curiosity counted for more than certain knowledge. Imagine a world where what you gave away was more valuable than what you held back, where joy was not a dirty word, where play was not forbidden after your eleventh birthday. Imagine a world in which the business of business was to imagine worlds people might actually want to live in someday. Imagine a world created by the people, for the people not perishing from the earth forever.The Cluetrain Manifesto