Yesterday, I played several rounds of Duck-Duck-Goose. I quickly realized that old people have a hard time getting up from the ground to chase a five-year-old. And beige corduroys do not do well on the damp ground. But what I’ll remember most was the constant laughter of both children and adults as we played. No matter what our actual ages, for that game, we were all five.
Now some might say that playing a game with children on the weekend might be a good thing, but being silly and childish should stay there and certainly our inner children should stay hidden during work time. I don’t disagree, if by inner child, you’re thinking of the whiny, codependent entity that needs nurturing and approval. (Having read a couple of self-help books about the inner child several years ago, I decided that “little Faye” needed to stay right where she was: hidden from everyone.)
No, I’m talking about the child part of you who loves to giggle, who can make any activity a game, and who thinks everyone is a friend. Imagine a workplace where the following happens on a regular basis:
- When something goes wrong, people don’t run around blaming each other, crying that the world is ending, and bemoaning how hard life is. Instead, they find the humor in it, have a laugh, and go about fixing it.
- When given a tedious task, people find a way to make it a little more fun. Some folks compete to see who can finish first. In the library, shelving is often done with iPods in ears to cheer up the time. As every kindergarten teacher knows, almost everything is better when done with a song.
Now I’m not advocating that your inner child come to work and throw tantrums and run away crying because someone was mean. The nice thing about being an adult is that you can control what parts of childlike behavior you bring to the office!
And yes, library staff,when I occasionally throw rubber balls at you from my office, it’s nothing more than “Little Faye coming out to play.”