In this startlingly original psychological inquiry, a renowned child psychiatrist shows why play, so essential to the developing child, fills an equally important function in our adult lives.
When Sigmund Freud so famously said that a happy, balanced life depends entirely upon "the compulsion to work and the power of love," the great man simply overlooked the importance of play. When we play, we forget ourselves. We immerse ourselves in the act of play. And we become free.
No one, of course, has ever disputed that a healthy childhood inspires and requires play. Dr. Lenore Terr has spent her distinguished career closely observing children at play. Through that work she has come to see just how much a child's play is an opening to that child's being.
For those adults who don't yet play, Beyond Love and Work can be considered a how-to book. For those adults who do play, they can gain insight into what they're doing, because mature play, we learn, doesn't originate in a vacuum. It develops from childhood avoidances, losses, wishes, preferences, even rebellions. In these pages we also learn:
* How infantile play finds expression in our adult lives. The game of peekaboo comes back in the form of college reunions, annual business conventions, and other adult caucuses.
* How a dyslexic woman finds joy in creating a riotous garden with tons of different colors: "In my garden it doesn't matter if I call something the wrong name."
* How the childhood game of scissors, paper, rock reinvents itself in that elaborate pre-Super Bowl ritual of the coin toss, of who will kick off and who will receive.
Put most simply, Beyond Love and Work gives us -- in a way that brings to mind Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence -- an absolutely new yardstick with which to measure our adult lives....Continua