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Monday, March 22, 2010


A secret vice: Free Cell.

I use it to limber up before I write. When I get stuck trying to express an idea, I play a game or two, and voila! Logjam unjammed.

Dutch scholar Johan Huizinga wrote a book calling us "Homo Ludens," or "Man the Player." In it, Huizinga suggested that culture itself would not exist without the human capacity for play.

It's as true for the individual as for the species. What defines us is what, and how, and how much, we play.

So take a look at your play time. Do you spend it sleeping? (Not good.) Do you have hobbies? Play sports? Interact with others? (Better.)

Do you create lasting products? Sing, dance, or otherwise perform? Do you "play" in a way that improves your health, your life, your community, your world?

Whatever it is you do, play. Whether you're good at it or not, play. Alone or in groups, play.

Play. You'll be happier.

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