The Golden Lottery Rule
Dear old and new friends,
Last week’s reflection provided a map with directions how to find happiness. Today we add to those suggestions another one—take time each day to play. Yes, and regardless of your age, regardless how brief the time, it will be well worth every minute. Sadly, we associate play only with children, yet all creatures from monkeys, puppies and dolphins happily engage in playing around, including frogs, minnows, and even ants that have been observed having fun playing.
Adults play golf, tennis, driveway basketball and numerous other games. However, for these to be truly play they must be void of competition because that means work. People enjoy “playing” music, and if there is any competition it is with themselves striving for excellence. When we are competitive in play we destroy its healing, healthy and soul-enriching powers. However, in our dog-eat-dog aggressive world we are prisoners from preschool through adulthood of “cutthroat” competition which society and school encouraged, and is sanctified in our professional sports as the rule of success in life.
Replace that rule of life if you want to be happy with the Lottery rule, “If you don’t play, you can’t win!” Play is wondrous; it doesn’t require more than yourself to be amused by engaging in any activity that lacks practical or fruitful purpose. This doesn’t mean your activity won’t be creative, constructive or beneficial…such as fooling around with a new recipe, getting dirty gardening, having fun with a hobby or going for a walk with no destination.
Playtime in life requires desire and discipline for the majority of us not in nursing homes who are too busy to be free to amuse ourselves. Desire can be rekindled in awakening your childhood lust to play which like Sleeping Beauty is only dormant, not dead. Like any exercise, you will find that once you begin finding fun again by setting aside in your busy day time to play, the easier will be repeating this entertaining discipline.
Those who share life with a dog or cat or any living animal discover their pet is their personal trainer in animal natural playfulness by engaging with them in “playing around.” This play is usually initiated spontaneously by your pet; never be so busy as not to stop what you’re doing and have fun with them. We lack space here for me to expound on it, but play and prayer are like two sides of the same coin. Trust me, when you are having fun so is your soul.
Playfulness in the midst of the humdrumness of the day is responding to difficult situations with the natural humor of amusement instead of grim seriousness. If we define dull in the ancient adage, “All work and no play, makes Jack or Jill dull,” it means glum, tedious, uninteresting, dreary and lifeless! Who desires anyone with those qualities as a friend or someone to invite to a party? That old adage is eternal truth about being loved and desirable.
Remember the famous Golden Rule of the Lottery of Life: “If you don’t play, you can’t win.”