Saturday, September 22, 2012

Play - Stuart Brown

Subtitle: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and invigorates the Soul

I have never been a fan of playing.  I didn't participate in many organized sports (there was that tennis phase) and I didn't like getting sweaty (ladies don't sweat, they glisten!).  After recognizing that all these years of work (which to be honest, I enjoy) is pretty solitary and while it can rack up piles of dough its just not FUN.  I want to learn how to play more.  Learn to goof off or be silly like a kid again (was I ever a silly kid?  I don't think so).

The author is the founder of the National Institute for Play and a medical doctor who has researched the topic of playing through conducting "play histories" with people, from the everyday Joe to mass murders and identifying their "play personalities".  His book addresses the "why" and "what" of play and goes on to discuss its impact throughout our lives and the lives of those around us.

He spends a chapter on parenting and play (I think I flunked that one) and points out the importance of playing with children to create the parent/child bond and the impact that imagination and fantasizing has on developing empathy, understanding and trust as well as coping skills.

He devotes a chapter to explaining how the opposite of play is not work arguing that work that is fulfilling and satisfying can be like play.  His chapter on playing together advocates spouses being playful together to relieve the serious responsibilities of adult life.

Leave it to me to read a BOOK to start figuring out how to play.

Published:  2009  Read: September 2012   Genre: Non-fiction, science, psychology

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