Children love playing games and games are important. Playing games is one of the ways children learn to interact with others, problem solve and engage with the world around them.
One of the games children begin playing at the earliest age is “hide and seek”. One child runs off to hide, and after a short period of time, another child will try to find him or her.
If you observe the kids closely you will discover that the real joy of the game isn’t in the hiding, but in being discovered. You see, the kids don’t want to hide so well that they are never discovered. Pay close attention and you will see that the thrill of being found is what causes their faces to light up and the giggling to begin. They are really disappointed if no one ever finds them.
Kind of sounds like adult life doesn’t it?
Many of us, most of us at some point, play the adult version of hide and seek. We run off, not physically, but emotionally, and hide. We secretly hope that someone will find us . . . that we will be discovered as we hide under a bed or in a dark closet. If no one ever finds us we remain under that bed or in that closet.
We never experience the joy of being discovered and, interestingly, we become more skilled at the ‘hiding’ part of the game. We never realize the joy of being found (or the relief of being found out).
But wait! There’s more to consider . . .
If we are so good at the ‘hiding’ part of the game, might we actually be denying others the opportunity to know the real, authentic and wonderful version of ourselves?
So much we can learn from children . . . it’s just a thought . . .