As I grow older I love to discover things that make my life easier and more enjoyable. TED Talks is one of those recent discoveries. They are informative, short lectures that can be listened to anytime and anywhere and they are free! I can now repurpose most of my book budget and give my memory a break by not having to remember where I left my reading glasses. Steve Keil's lecture, 'A Manifesto for Play' gave me cause to rethink the Christmas season. Our society is all hype on the joy of the season and the promised satisfaction of finding the perfect gift. In contrast many individuals face increased anxiety and financial stress. Keil advocates a revolution to revitalize our economy, our education system and our society. I believe it can also help us here in East Zorra-Tavistock. He suggests the revolution will be fueled by individuals who are skilled in adaptability, creativity and innovation. How do we develop these skills? Rediscover the lost art of play! He explains the science of play and how it stimulates our brain development leading to emotional maturity and improved decision making. He also warns that the opposite of play is depression. I am thankful that as I look around our community I see so many people actively playing and enjoying their family and friends. I also see many people that are lonely or depressed and in need of someone to reach out and share some measure of play. So as we approach the Christmas season, I encourage all of us to plan in more play. It does not have to cost money but it will take time. Consider inviting a neighbour, a co-worker, a senior or anyone because we can all benefit from a little more play.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a play filled New Year!