The Truth About Play

My favorite thing about this homework assignment was getting a sense of freedom. To spend a whole hour just playing made me feel child-like. I went with a friend and played cards and also shot some hoops for an hour. Next time we have a day of play I would hope to play with some board games since I don’t have any knowledge with them. This experience taught me that it is okay to set homework aside for a short period of time and just enjoy life and the atmosphere around me. It also had me contemplating how the lack of freedom in children’s lives came to be.

The Ted Talk that was given by Peter Gray made some really valid points and provided lots of useful information. He stated that modern kids are constantly being watched by adults and don’t have the same freedom that kids from the 1950s had. He noted that the 1950s aren’t to be glamorized but that we could learn from the idea of the liberation that past children had. He told a story that can really show the difference between children here in America and those in other isolated parts of the world. Alongside one of his graduate students, he had conducted a survey of anthropologists who had observed the way children of hunter-gatherer cultures play. Their studies showed that the children were allowed to roam freely on their own and play however they please. The results left these children to be some of the brightest, most cooperative, resilient, and happiest children they have ever observed. Nowadays children are being watched like hawks by everyone around them. Children aren’t free to make mistakes and learn from them because adults are always watching and setting rules.

Most teenagers also don’t have freedom. Luckily, I have somewhat lenient¬†parents so I did get to experience some things on my own. But others aren’t fortunate enough. Some parents will push their kids to the breaking point by not allowing them to go anywhere without an adult or older sibling or even go out with friends. To me, that shows a nerve wrecking feeling of possession.

The podcast¬†about checkers and chess relates to the topic of play. In checkers, the rules are simply too strict. And too many rules can equal no fun and everything being too predictable. Now as for chess, there is more freedom. Checkers can be compared to modern days and chess can be life in the 1950s. The best moment in a person’s life is simply the unexpected. When you don’t know what is going to happen it creates a feeling of adrenaline. Fewer rules are when you feel the most alive.