Fancy having a life filled with purpose? Rick Warren is the leader of Saddleback Church in the US and the author of the book “The Purpose Driven Life”. As you know I am currently intrigued by the TED talks and Rick has given one of them, you can see it here.
It’s not strictly about play, but it is about approaching life as God wants. It’s about the idea that when you are being yourself for God then you are doing what you are here to do. It’s about the idea that your value consists purely in “who” you are, not what you have not what you do and not what other people think of you ie it is not about success in society.
I believe one of the most dangerous things about modern Western society is the belief that pervades all our media, culture and daily life, that we are in control and if not us then someone else is. Because we are so divorced from the natural environment we have little or no conception of our fragility. We are so busy self-actualising that we can forget how sometimes life just doesn’t work out for us. We have lost sight of “agon” or “fate”, the sense of play against/with the universe.
This blindness is dangerous to our souls. It leads us to believe that if things go wrong someone somewhere is responsible and if it’s too horrendous to believe that that person is ourselves then we blame anyone and everyone else. This is the rights not responsibilities culture. It’s the culture of claim and counter-claim. It stops us from getting on with our lives.
The second way it’s dangerous to us is that it leads us to believe that we are somehow responsible for the bad things that happen in our life and it reduces our ability to cope with terrible things that life throws at us. Instead of, yes, asking the questions and then moving on through the sympathy of others and our relation to God we turn things over and over in our brains.
More than this we tend to look at others and blame them directly for their own problems. That leads to a belief system where you bring upon yourself your own poverty, your own misfortune. That’s just wrong. The universe plays with us, we have to play back, using our God given personality and skills and it isn’t whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.