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  • Ron Davidson

The Definition of Play

What does it mean to play? We usually associate it with children engaging with each other and having fun. Being the curious person I am, I looked up the word ‘play’. There were a few definitions, but this one stood out: “engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” Other definitions specified it was more for children. I have to ask myself an obvious question, who decides on the definition of play? People develop certain ideas of what age should look like. A person at sixty should act or behave a certain way. Where did this come from? I don’t see a written explanation of how we should act at a certain age. The representation of aging in the media has a distinct effect on how we see growing older. This forms ideas which are not necessarily accurate. Growing older doesn’t mean you’re useless or helpless. I think it’s time to start treating people as capable and valuable human beings at every age. I’ve met marathon runners in their eighties. My mom works with an eighty six year old woman who still teaches skiing. I’ve met scuba divers in their late seventies. I work with clients who are now learning an instrument in their seventies. Honestly, I could go on and on. Those who are in their sixties, seventies and eighties don’t define themselves as having to be or act a certain way. They engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation! That sounds a lot like… play. How you define your age is really up to you. It really comes down to how you see yourself, not how the world sees you. However you choose to do it, my advice to you is this… PLAY ON!

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