Some nights, I dream of fighting and others of running for my very life.
This last night, I woke up from the dream, and thought how these instincts of fight or flight are so pervasive in our lives, and even in our sleep.
But more than that, we are literally from the youngest age, programmed for survival (of the fittest).
Ok, here's a simple hypothesis about kid's play:
Kid's play is not just play, but rather the preparation through acting out of these basic human survival instincts.
At it's core, kids games mimic the fundamental human tendencies of fight or flight.
Think for a second of some of the most popular games that kids play...the ones that mostly have been around forever, and kids from the youngest of ages gravitate too.
Tag -- Running after from someone else running after you.
Hide and Go Seek -- Running to hide from someone looking to find you.
Play Fighting -- Fighting an opponent to see who is stronger and can overcome the other.
Action Figures -- Often superheroes and villians that once again, fight each other.
Dress Up -- Girls often dress as the beautiful princesses to be admired by boys who are in turn dressed as (macho) heroes that seek to protect them.
Video Games -- The most popular ones, first-person shooter (fighting) and racing (running away, faster than anyone else, and over the finish line or into the safety zone).
Whether we are playing games, sleeping and dreaming, or going about our daily life activities, make no mistake, we are in survival mode. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)