There is nothing more exciting than the act of creation. All humans know this. There is a particular, potent emotion that swells within us simply when we do nothing more than imagine creating — even for the briefest of moments — something that speaks to who we are, something we are truly passionate about. It is this spark, this impulse alone, that has fuelled every awe-inspiring work of art, every masterful invention, every achievement of which the world stands in ovation and takes to heart. And it is through these vectors that the passage of that original emotion takes place — it is, in fact, this that gives them their value. The feeling they transmute, diluted though it may be, is what we all connect with: the feeling of creation.
There are no people on this planet who understand this better than children. Creation, and the love found in the act of creating, is an inherent part of who they are. Nowhere is the wonder of life more clearly expressed than in the indomitable, bounding spirit of healthy youth. Children skip, laugh, dance and play as though they are lighter than air itself, not a care in the world, truly one with the moment. They create fun, without even thinking about it, simply because it's in their nature. Deeper than this, they 'play pretend', moving effortlessly between the worlds of reality and make-believe, engaging the imagination and all of its infinite possibilities on a level most adults would be hard pressed to recall.
The tragedy lies in the world that is waiting for them. The failure of keeping play alive as children grow older is one of the most fundamental mistakes we have made as a species. Growing up is hard, it's true. It's not a nice world out there, and children are inevitably initiated to this fact as they gain in age and become more interested in the things of the adult world. Yet, when they arrive naturally at the point of putting their toys down, what is it that they pick up instead? The doldrums of reality, the hard 'facts' of life. The terrible confirmation of a world that does not reward play, but just the opposite. The creative force, the natural energy of the cosmos and of life itself — that incredible, unbridled spirit that they embodied as younger children — is, they slowly discover, a very limited energy within the world of man. Indeed, the world of man, it seems, is nothing but limitation.
Yet there are those, rare as they may be, who have retained the ability to play. In every instance they are successful. How can they not be? They have the creative impulse of the universe itself on their side. They are not afraid, because they know — nothing is that big of a deal. Let's just create, lets have some fun! And if they find themselves in a situation that is obviously no fun, yet unavoidable, they intuitively bring the spirit of acceptance to it, which is a mature form of that same energy.
If there is one gift in this world you can give to your children, let it be this: the freedom to play, for the rest of their lives. Teach them that the joy they feel when engaged in play is something that is inherently theirs, and can never be taken away from them, no matter their age, no matter their circumstance. Show them how this is done, by bringing it into your own reality, by transcending the limits that surround you with the gratitude of simply being, and the playful, carefree energy that comes with it. If you can do this — reconnect with the creative source — you will find every situation getting easier, things arriving at your feet with less effort and, above all, an incredible lightness of energy elevating you once again into states you haven't tasted since childhood.
Yes, I understand, it's easier said than done. We are adults. We have responsibilities. We have problems. We have the terrible, burdensome weight of worry straining our minds nearly every day. All I can say is, if you have children, look to them for guidance. Remind yourself with it. I mean that literally: re-mind yourself with the natural joy of youth, and of life itself. Re-discover it. Your children can show you the way. It's not that hard, remember? All you have to do is play.