In worship i am spending time reflecting on practice and play and releasing results. I have few credos, but i believe results of one's efforts are, in general, a mystery. We learn and develop skills at getting along with people and many other things. Learning and developing skills can be accomplished through practice and/or play. But then there's the outcome of the efforts. It appears that there is a broad history where the wise acknowledge that one needs to release attachment to outcome, one needs to recognize what one cannot change.
If play is a very effective way to learn -- is part of it because the attachment to outcome is released at the beginning? Is it because there is an acknowledgement that mistakes will be made? Is it because it is a safe place to make mistakes?
I'm teased by a potential insight that the joy in play (not fun, but joy) could be tied to not being stressed out by the potential outcome of what is being practiced.
I ponder that play gets a bad name because someone playing implies that the person isn't going to take care to attend to the outcome.
Is there a space that can be created where we bring the sense of play yet remain aware of responsibility?
The word that just came to mind was generosity: to create that space for play, the creators of that space need to have the resources to be generous.
To make concrete, i'm thinking of the narrative i read yesterday about how "There was a train wreck at the 2014 Women in Computing Grace Hopper Celebration (#GHC)."
For the men who gave the keynote, who said things like "women should just speak up like the men do" and "women should not ask for raises but trust karma," i frame them as practicing at being allies and making very visible mistakes. This is not a place to play.
I'm reflecting, too, that play can go terribly wrong. Those playing-to-learn need guidance (coaching?).
I'm not clear here.
There's some tantalizing idea that's just out of reach, some paradoxical way of being where one is able to take risks and experience joy because of being in the frame of play while still being responsible and caring. I think the crux of this paradox is in some sort of surrendering of attachment to outcome, while yet remaining aware and responsible for outcome.