We all understand that in order to develop, grow and progress, be it in our careers or our leisure pursuits, we’ve gotta graft – education is a cornerstone of success, but the chasm between book smarts and street smarts and the lessons learned during attendance at the ‘school of life’ is expansive and provides us an interesting backdrop to the interrelation between work and play.
Work, Play, Love
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, English Proverb
While at university, a lecturer uttered a ponderance in his outside voice asserting whether students nowadays would be better off taking their 50-grand loan and spending it on a beach hut and a copy of Alan Fletcher’s, The Art of Looking Sideways, such is the level of inspiration lain within the covers of this 1000-page strong homage to creative intellect, and perhaps conversely, such is the ill repute of the institution of conventional learning methods.
Working hard or hardly working?
Nowadays, students and working adults alike are herded like cattle through a system that spits them out with a brain full of knowledge sometimes lacking application in the real world, like drones, wandering into their 9 – 5’s, lack lustre and with a sense of captivity. While being churned through the prescriptive route into being a grown up, we cease to think freely and expressively, instead following a regulated regimen of puffed up pro forma.
Condemning though this may sound, I do in fact fully endorse the importance of a decent education, but often wonder if Peter Pan had the right idea.
“I don’t want to go to school and learn solemn things. I don’t want to be a man”. J M Barrie
It is globally accepted that children learn through play, and in their formative years rely on their senses to process the world around them – tasting, touching, hearing, seeing and smelling their way through life. Such a blissful existence would perhaps make you question the idea of growing up, but I suppose it could be argued that some don’t.
The Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung opined “the creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” and I would suggest based on his theory, that those who choose to pursue a career in creative industries at least are likely to preserve their sense of play and shrug the shackles of thinking inside the box, breaking free from square spaces altogether to live a vivid existence in the glorious scribbles outside the lines.
What we must therefore endeavour to reflect on, are the lessons that cannot be learned within the four magnolia walls of a class room, those which must be lived in the real world – life experience and exploration, playing and unfamiliar encounters – these are the components that will best serve to enrich the diverse composition of life.