There are those amongst us who fear a light called Play. These persons live in suspicion and fear of children seeking freedom in play. From narcissistic parents, to rigid school administrators, to religious terrorists, this particular perception thrives and breathes in dark spaces where the light of play has no permission to enter. It seeks to take children away from play, to destroy their play spaces, pull down the soaring soul. The roots of this subtle malevolence may perhaps lie in the jealousy and envy of a child’s ability to escape from rules and restraints and to find liberation in play in all its forms.
These people with shadows in their souls, fail to comprehend the beauty of children squealing as swings lift them high above the ground. They understand not the childish glee of water puddle dances and mud roll-abouts. They mock the pebble-treasures carefully stored in bottles and boxes long discarded. They disdain the world of make-believe where children parade in clothes discovered in an attic raid, There are those amongst us who abhor Play. They understand it not, and yet, instinctively, fear Play, because Play takes the child away from the captor. Play is a world that does not open its doors willingly to a soul that seeks to shackle and control. The world of water puddles and swings and giddy make-believe is a light so pure that it must hurt the soul nourished by only darkness, emptiness and a desire to control.
And to escape that hurt caused by light, Soul Captors seek to destroy children’s playgrounds and everything associated with play.
From the social ladder-climbing mother who feels only shame in a child’s mud pies and flower-soups because it lacks trophy-worthiness,
To school administrators who schedule hours upon hours of cramming-classes after school because play is a waste of time,
To the teary child pushed to hours of piano practice to be performance ready at every family event,
To parents who tear up scrapbooks in shame and rage when exam results come in, because play brought Fs and not As,
To the religious bigot who admonishes children that they’re better off memorizing religious texts than playing,
To men who were once children but who now booby-trap children’s playgrounds.
The fear in them wants playgrounds emptied, play reduced, manipulated, outlawed even.
Because Play threatens to bring Light to those who want to remain in the shadows.