Please can I go out to play

View from the ground


Hi and welcome to the latest view from the ground. Welcome to the new blog site. There’s still work to be done but I’m pleased to have my own space for these blogs. That said, whilst we go through a transitional phase I will be reposting the blogs on for a short time. But the View From The Ground blogs needed their own place as my path has evolved in a different direction. Spiritual? I would say so. But very much rooted at a level where I want to help as many people as possible understand changes they are feeling and seeing, but without scaring them. The word ‘spiritual’ can scare people a bit but then when you look at a definition – ‘relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things’ hopefully this can be related to be many of us?

There is no doubt that times they are ‘a changin’, as Bob Dylan prophesied many years ago. Interesting! I had a Facebook message exchange yesterday and reflected on changing times and that has stuck in my head. They are changing on a global level, on a national level, on a local level and, definitely, on a personal level.

With that thought in mind I looked up the lyrics to ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ and was struck by how appropriate they are for today, so I wanted to share them: –

“Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'”

It certainly made me think. However, those who have followed my on the winding road from my view from the ground will know, I do a lot of thinking. My life purpose, I am told, is as interpreter. It’s a grander title but, basically, I look to interpret what I see and hear into plain speak. Some people like to talk in riddles and, perhaps, be seen as a higher source of information / knowledge. I look to filter what I hear and turn it into something a little more understandable.

To be fair, when I set out to put this blog together, as is the usual case, my thinking had been around a different place.

In this intense world that we seem to be operating in, our whole focus is on work – be that employed / self employed work, family work, home related work – we have little time to rest and certainly no time to play.

Play? Exactly. Play! I believe many of us have forgot to play. In fact, we’ve forgotten how to play. As I read recently (sorry, yes, I’m reading again) play is not just important for children, it is an important source of relaxation and stimulation for us adults as well. Playing with your significant other (assuming they agree!), friends, colleagues, pets (I can say that now we have our beautiful cat), and your children is a perfect way to stimulate way your imagination, your creativity and, most importantly, your emotional well-being. On top of all of that, it is fun! So, why have so many of us forgotten how to play?

I had a think about my typical working day. Out of bed, prepare and consume breakfast; prepare lunch; feed the cat; get dressed etc. Into work by 8:00 am. At the office until circa 6:00 pm, home b circa 6:45 pm. Sit down to eat by 8:00 pm (having cooked or assisted). If I’m lucky, out for a quick walk at 9:00 pm, and back in time for a bath at about 10:15 pm. And the day is done ……………… until tomorrow.
Where is the time for play? Okay, a talk during the evening meal (assuming I have company); a walk and talk; throwing the sponge mouse for the cat to retrieve, as she thinks she’s a dog, could be classed as play. However, it’s not good old fashioned play. Active play.

We need to try and remember what play used to be. Throwing a ball around in the garden? Sitting around a table having a laugh. Playing a board game. Going out for a bike ride, or a long walk whilst it is daylight. Basically, something that allows your brain to switch off from that thing that we call life. You could say, something that allows you to go back to that state your could enjoy as a child – not having a worry in the world. Unconditional fun!

Just think about the possible benefits of playing – particularly when it involves some else, or a pet. This can add to your joy of life, and theirs.
The clearest benefit of play is stress relief. Play is fun and it’s an escape, a distraction. It can trigger the release of endorphins, promoting an overall sense of well-being. Play can also enhance brain function. Activities such as completing crosswords, puzzles etc, playing chess or some other ‘play’ activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function. It’s like any form of positive exercise. The more you do it, the stronger you can make what you exercising.

Sitting around the table, talking or playing with family and friends can also help ward off stress and depression. Again, distraction? Or, actually, is the play and interaction actually reality? Is all of the other stuff the distraction? I’ll leave that thought with you.

And, another, important reason for play is to allow it to help keep you feeling young and energetic. As George Bernard Shaw says right at the start of this blog, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Age is a number, and is inevitable. However, ageing is a choice – or at least the speed at which we age is.

One thing for certain is that times, they are a-changin. Our ability to deal with the changing times will be enhanced through maintaining a high level of of energy and a high level of happiness.

I would like to finish with my favourite John Lennon quote: –


Take care of yourselves. Now, get outside and start playing. And, please, be happy.

Speak soon. If you want contact me direct, and me an email – Alternatively, I’m on Facebook, as Jon Duke (never one for being overly creative). In addition, there’s a View From The Ground Facebook page + I’m on Twitter as @viewftg. It would be good to hear from you.

Finally, my usual disclaimer for any typos. This is all written from the heart.

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