The Lion Dance and the Importance of Fun

The Lion's Head in a Lion Dance celebrating Chinese New Years

Good Day, God!

And a very good day it was — complete with a colorful and noisy Lion Dance at my Rotary lunch-time meeting. Noise is an important part of the dance — the idea being to scare away evil spirits at the start of the New Year. To “ensure” good fortune for the coming year the audience “feeds” the lion money — in red envelopes or just plan bills.

What tickled me was what fun people had for their money. To be sure, God, it wasn’t much money. But it was a lot fun. And part of me said, YES! That is what life is about! Make things fun! Make a game out of things.

There have been a number of books out recently that talk about how captivating games are. Good games involve ascending levels of challenge so that one can push toward ever more mastery. These games make it clear when you fail a level. The feedback is immediate.

Ah, but there is one special component, God: These games expect you to fail and fail repeatedly. They require persistence in the face of failure. Persistence is a wonderful “skill” or “mindset” to have for life!

When I went to school, they “labeled” children Slow, Medium and Fast. That sad thing was both the teachers and the children believed those labels. But Research has shown that without the presence of those toxic labels, very often the child who is slow to start will finish ahead of the fast child.

So what am I inching toward, God? I guess I want all of us humans to realize that failing and being slow are normal parts of our lives — that we can persist — we can keep working at things. We can grow and improve. And maybe doing that is the most fun of all.

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Story teller,

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Posted in Endurance, Enjoyment, layer upon layer, learning, Persistence

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