Do you remember when you were little and you would play let’s pretend?
‘Let’s pretend you’re the mum and I’m the kid.’
‘Let’s pretend that fairies live here.’
‘Let’s pretend we’re running away from a scary monster.’
I think you probably get the idea. It sounds a bit silly and trivial now, but with one sentence you could transform your world into something new. Into something whimsical and magical. Or some place dark and dangerous. You could go any place at all. With just your imagination as a limitation.
There was only good and bad, with nothing in between. And the good guys always had a happy ending. Because they deserved it and it was fair. There was no other way.
You see, the world is good until it proves to you otherwise. Innocent, unless proven guilty. Everything is fair and people are all equal and get what they deserve. Your imagination says that that is the way it is. Good should always prevail over evil. It just should.
Now, do you remember that time when you picked up the Barbie dolls or the toy swords and it just didn’t… click. It wouldn’t happen any more. The magic was gone. You tried again and again to get it back. Maybe it was just a bad day, week, year? But no, it was long gone and what were you supposed to do now?
There are two reasons (that I see) that would cause this.
- The ever-growing pressure to grow up and grow up quickly. Why have fun now, when growing up will be so much more fun? (hahaha haha ha…) There is pressure from all directions. Peer pressure. The kids with older siblings see them doing big-kid things and think they should too. Pressure from parents. ‘Grow up and take responsibility for x.’ Pressure from within yourself. In a child this is a lot, so suddenly they do. They grow up and the fun is gone. They see how parents have fun. Talking, eating and drinking and staring at screens. ‘Fun.’ It will take a bit for them to understand this, but the pressure will be enough, eventually.
- The other reasons might be that, they suddenly can comprehend that the world isn’t black and white, good and evil. There are a hundred (not 50 😉 ) shades of grey in between. Good and evil can be deceptive. We realise all the terrible things that happen in the world. We hear about poverty, hunger, war, pain, racism, discrimination, bullying, suicide, murder, abuse and so many other awful things that happen in the world around us. No wonder our imagination doesn’t work any more. The imagination part of our brain is squashed by pain, disbelief and… understanding. These things aren’t black or white. There are no heroes or villains. What is wrong and right?
That is a very good question.
I don’t have a good answer. I suppose it’s what you believe is wrong or right. It’s up to you. But then again Hitler thought that murdering 6 million people based on their religion was right.
Ask your mum or dad. Ask a teacher. Ask Google. I don’t know. Maybe, ask a child. There minds are less limited then ours.
Let’s pretend is not a game that is not lost, though. It just comes in different forms, now. At the same time that you lose this imagination in the original game, you start playing a new game of let’s pretend. This games is not related to fairies, pirates or princesses though.
This game is called, ‘I’m fine.’
Can you relate to any of this?
Have you got an answer to the question, ‘what is wrong and right’?
Let me know if you like these kinds of posts, or what you would like to see more of.
I would love to hear from you 🙂
The photo is from here.