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When a Playground is the Content and the Context, We All Win

“Picture a flower.  Then … picture a flower in a field or completely by itself.  Or a flower on a gravestone, and then picture that same flower in the barrel of a gun.  The context changes the content and the background of a picture changes the subject.” – Rick Rubin

To continue with Rick Ruben’s thought, when we see a picture of a flower sticking out of the barrel of a gun, some of us will see a message of peace, while others will see the destruction of peace.  In either case, the gun is not the main subject.  It’s about the flower.  But if we see peace, we see that the flower is affecting the gun.  If we see the destruction of peace, we see the gun affecting the flower and what it represents. 

As Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not so much what we look at that matters.  It’s what we see.”

While context and background can affect the perception of the content, how we see it and interpret it, depends on us.  What kind of mood are we in?   Our outlook, philosophy, beliefs, positivity or negativity, optimism or pessimism, political leaning, personal experiences, religion, education, and a thousand other things in real time, considering the infinite number of variables, circumstances, and dynamics of reality.

As adults, we’re experts at convoluting what is.  Children are better at just being.  A playground changes the landscape.  It can be the content as well as the context, but it remains the subject.  When we look at it, children and adults both tend to see the same thing; play. 

Play is liberating and invigorating.  It un-convolutes our brain chatter and let’s us relax and be in the moment.  It’s healthy and rejuvenating.  It allows us to decompress, relax our shoulders, and let joy and positivity in. 

Children are under so much pressure to achieve, level-up, and be better.  All well and good when managed correctly, but if not, that pressure can build and cause distress.  When a playground or just play in general is the background, the subject is elevated.  Let’s help our children elevate themselves.  And we adults should remember to play as well. 

We’re part of the context.

Photo by Andrew Small on Unsplash

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