eThoughts : More Holiday Cheer?

All right, we’ve got this party started I think. Let’s push the envelope of cheer and see what we come up with. It’s called play, folks—and I think we need some of that.

Let’s practice something in the spirit of play—not doing what we usually do. Let’s upset the expectation apple cart. I’m not going into any examples—I just spent a bit doing that and annoyed myself. Delete. Besides, it’s a contextually-driven issue anyway. How am I supposed to know what the context is?

The point is to not do business as usual. Business as usual allows everyone to stay on autopilot. Robots are plentiful, let’s take back our humanity. It’s the season you know.

What if the spirit of play and the spirit of work were not mutually exclusive? What do you think—play helps us to be more productive? And when we feel truly productive, we’re freer to play? Ahh, the gift of being as a child and not like one. You know that’ll put a smile on a face.

What else to increase the play and smile ratio in our lives?

I got one—but it’s normally seen as dangerous. Let’s bring back the art of flirting! This will likely challenge our efforts at awareness without interpretation. But it’s a good challenge—not for the faint of heart. What if we could learn to flirt appropriately—driven not by biology or fear or any of the many holes in ourselves, but driven by play? That would be a gift. Males would surely have to learn that females have to have a different level of awareness than males do when it comes to safety. Just when was the last time a grown male had to worry about a female physically taking them against their will? And females would have to learn that males are not just alley cats, that maleness is actually very fragile. In fact, males might need to learn that about themselves.

Hmmm, that got serious for a moment. But play can do that—it can be an effective way to learn. Play is exploratory and honest. We could use more honesty.

In fact, let’s use this Holiday season to increase our integrity. It’s a lot easier to play and to smile when we’re not using our energy trying to figure out the honesty factor. This doesn’t mean we have to run around telling truths that hurt, but we could try not telling lies. However, that bit of practice would require the rest of us to be forgiving of mistakes—not forgetful, just forgiving. So let’s toss that into the Holiday mix—practice our integrity, learn to be forgiving, and learn to not forget. That’s a bit of alchemy that might get the lead in us out and the gold in us in.

Let’s try one more—this is not a be-all and end-all list. Let’s go with the inclusive versus the exclusive. Sure we are all special and like it—especially if it’s a good kind of special. But manufacturing exclusivity is not the same as noticing exclusivity. We’ve all got something to offer. Let’s help each other to remember that. But let’s not get anywhere near creating hierarchies that have to do with better and worse people. We can keep what we’re good at and we can practice getting better. But that’s learning and playing. Like psychologist Alfred Adler noted about superiority—it’s not over others, it’s about making ourselves better. And should we be in a competition, let’s try and win and then let’s get together and celebrate. That’s fun. Storming the fences in victory or defeat is just a defeat.

And folks, let’s not just employ these behaviors during the Holiday season. Like life-long learning, let’s include life-long play. Such behavior will serve us and others—that’s an inclusion that’s about the spirit of the season.

Happy Holidays!

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