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Life Dancing Itself

by Christine Caldwell

SoundSeen (our multimedia stories)

Animals at Play

[audio slideshow, 2:20]
Anyone who has a pet can testify that play is not exclusive to humans. And, in the wild, different species often are at odds. But, Stuart Brown witnessed something different. Here, he describes Norbert Rosing's striking images of a wild polar bear playing with sled dogs in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay.

Fellowship of the Rings

[audio slideshow, 2:51]
Stuart Brown pointed out that play can manifest itself in many ways: reading, hiking, painting…. For some adults in Santa Monica, the traveling rings on Muscle Beach not only offer exercise but a chance to resolve the angst of their workdays with the serenity of swinging in a beautiful setting.

Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog

Our online editor retraces the long tail of this program and the unexpected path leading up to the initial broadcast.

Our managing producer takes a snapshot of the live event at New York Public Library and who showed up to talk about play.

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I grew up in a family with a father who loved to play (and still does at age 80). Play was a priority in our family and it still is in my life. This is what I admire the most about my father,and what I have carried forward in my own life.

As a child in a family of nine children, we couldn't wait to get out the door in the morning during summer or after school during the school year. Our days consisted of kick the can, softball, football....Sometimes we played board games and cards but most of the time we were playing something. To this day when all of us are together, our time revoves around some type of play. we recently all met up to surprise my dad for his 80th b-day and we played a horseshoe-type game called cornhusk. To this day my favorite way to interact with people is to play something. For my 50th b-day I told my family if there was to be a party I wanted it to involve playing something.

I work as a Reading Specialist in an elementary school and primarily teach a phonics based program. I have incorporated many games into my lessons and it is not unusual for students to come in and say, "What are we going to play today Mrs. Brady?" I have found that when you do this, it makes it fun and engaging and they remember what the lesson was about.

I have a friend that I have been playing racquetball originally, and then tennis for over 20 years together once or twice a week. We witnessed our kids growing up, going onto college, and now starting their own families. We've shared many tears, hopes, dreams, and stories "at the net".

Playing has been essential to my life and my favorite saying is: You don't stop playing because you get old. you get old because you stop playing. My dad is truly testament to this and I hope I will be too. I hope my owm children will see how much "play" has added to my life and that they will find their own forms of play that will enhance their lives too.

Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic photos with the world. It makes me feel happy and hopeful that there is such love and joy universally expressed through play by all species.


Voices on the Radio

is a physician and clinical researcher. He founded and serves as president of the National Institute for Play.

Production Credits

Host/Producer: Krista Tippett

Managing Producer: Kate Moos

Senior Producer: Mitch Hanley

Producer: Colleen Scheck

Associate Producer: Nancy Rosenbaum

Technical Director: John Scherf

Online Editor/Web Producer: Trent Gilliss

Associate Web Producer: Andrew Dayton