I recently returned home from an epic Southeast Asia trip -- I went scuba diving in Thailand, slowboating and mountain biking in Laos, hiking and surfing in Malaysia, and five-star hotel-ing in Myanmar.
But among the highlights of my trip was visiting Elsewhere Surf Camp in Weligama, Sri Lanka. When I checked in, one of the surf instructors asked how long I was staying.
"A week," I told him.
"You'll end up staying longer," he smiled.
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said.
He was exactly right. According to my master's research, playfulness isn't a trait -- it's a skill. But due to the ubiquity of technology (read: passive entertainment) and high-achieving childhoods, many young adults have yet to develop their leisure skills.
The fact that they're making less money and are more likely to have debt than ever doesn't help.
"It is a happy talent to know how to play," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. And, unlike many well-known adages that were later proven wrong ("money can't buy happiness"; "don't compare yourself to others"; "don't praise your daughter's looks"), Emerson was exactly right.
Playfulness is a skill -- not a trait. Yet, because of changes in parenting styles and culture, many children no longer learn how to play.
In fact, thanks to helicopter parenting, children are no longer learning a lot of things.
I was recently asked what I, as a feminist, thought of the web comic, "You should've asked." My answer is that there was a lot I liked, and a little I didn't. My favorite takeaway is that men aren't perfect and have a lot to learn -- but neither are women, and so do they!
In other words, people are flawed. We can all do better.
The "tolerant left" has done it again! I wrote a blog post they don't like (not because of my ideas, but because I'm white), and, unable to come up with a coherent and well-reasoned argument...
They've resorted to calling me ugly.
They weren't the first anonymous internet trolls to try to hurt my feelings, and I'm sure they won't be the last.
But here's the thing about their little poison pen comments:
On a scale of 1-10, it bothers me zero -- except insofar as it makes me feel sorry for them. Here's why.
I Don't Want to Date a Man Who's Politically Correct. I Want to Date a Man Who's EMPIRICALLY Correct.
The Happy Talent has gotten a lot of heat, lately, from Social Justice Warriors who are pissed about my post, Advice for Asian Men, Black Women, and Other People "No One" Wants to Date.
Dozens of people from the "tolerant" left have made it their mission to refute my points... by calling me ugly.
It should go without saying that these are not the kinds of people I would ever date. Because I don't want to date a man who's politically correct. I want to date a man who is empirically correct.
Mindy Kaling once famously asked, "Is everyone hanging out without me?" This is a question I'd never asked myself -- until today. Because today they are. In the Bahamas. On a boat. Without me. Even though I went to ActionQuest and I'm an awesome sailor and a Master Scuba Diver.
But I digress.
The point is, there was a ton of traffic when I dropped my friend off at SFO. Like, a TON. But we spent exactly zero minutes stuck in it.
Let's take a break from talking about playfulness and leisure skill development for a second to discuss something serious.
See that girl with the laurel leaves in her hair? That's me, on graduation day, getting ready to walk across the stage and receive my Classical Diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy.
(Okay -- FINE. They're not laurel leaves. They're the kind of leaves that grow on the side of Langdell Hall, because no one told me you had to ORDER your crown before graduation. I mean... it's not like I had to order my diploma!)
My Classical Diploma means that I took four years of Latin and a year of ancient Greek. It means I know things. Like why it's so ridiculous that half my friends spell ridiculous with an -e.
I'm the first to admit that my apartment is usually a mess. It's partly me filling my life with work and play... but it's also because I have a lot of gear. Or, as a minimalist might call it, "clutter."
Yes, it's nice to be in spaces that are clean and open... but no. "Minimalism" is not the life I want. The only way to get rid of my "clutter" would be to give up all my sports, hobbies and interests... in which case, I may as well be dead.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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