William Adolphe Bouguereau, 1878
Want a useful thought? Here’s one:
play is good for more than fun.
Through play, even wild wolves explore
in peace their readiness for war,
& language (“give a thing a name”)
is mankind’s first recorded game.
The rest is simple to derive:
we work hard & play hard to thrive.
The most advanced tribes ever known
used playing as a shared backbone
as they passed down, against all odds,
their richly painted masks of gods.
Invention (i.e. “make cool tools”)
is simply play with self-made rules.
We use play to grow, learn, create,
communicate & propagate—
plus (Shakespeare said it) play’s the thing
to catch the conscience of the King.
See also: Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga