Performing well in study is not an easy thing to do. But playing well is just as difficult as performing well in study. As you have to work to make a living, you don’t have time to play, and as you have no time to play, you forget how to play. As you forget how to play, you can no longer play. One might ask how come a grownup person is obsessed with playing but playing was the foundation of human civilization that has been recognized even by scholars. Notably, Johan Huizinga would call humans “Homo Ludens.” Well before Huizinga’s era, philosopher Friedrich Schiller said, “The only way for a human to liberate himself or herself is to take the behavior of a playing person.’ Just as these prominent people would say, playing is the essence of human beings and way to be liberated. In other words, a person who has forgotten how to play is a being who can never find oneself or can be liberated.
Grownups who would play a game of slap match may not have regret about their childhood, but when we see children these days, we feel deeply sorry for them. If they cannot afford to play during childhood when they are supposed to play, then when can they find time to play throughout their life? These days, children cannot go out to play due the Covid-19 pandemic, or they don’t have a friend or are tied up with too much homework. A poem by poet Lee Joon-gwan describes children who are engrossed with playing even without recognizing the loss of a button on his clothes. Only when children are completely engrossed with playing at the playground, they are truly children who are enjoying childhood. With energy from this fund, we can interpret the world and live our life. I wish to give good things to children on Children’s Day: I wish to give them the privilege of ‘playing as much as they like.’