Wednesday, April 23, 2014


It occurred to me this morning how scary it is to create something and then share it.  When one is a child most of the time there is no litany of negative responses, jeering or uncomfortably probing questions.  So then, it is easier to say "look at the picture I drew!" with an enthusiastic voice.

Unfortunately, becoming an adult means acquiring some of those negative responses and uncomfortably probing questions, and perhaps even a little jeering.  If you are lucky or talented enough to surround yourself with people who tell you how great you are no matter what, you can move through those moments with a little tougher skin.  If not, another layer to work through has been established.

So, that brings me to what SCARY means, and if it is really an important thing to pay attention to.  I know about this because I have spent so much of my life letting SCARY keep me from trying things. Finally something became so compelling I just followed that still, small voice.  First, it was traveling.  Then, it was finding myself in new communities or job situations.  Then, it was home schooling.  Now, it is designing games.  And, in each of these situations there times when I had to take the risk of someone else reacting negatively, or uncomfortably probing, or even being laughed at when I did not intend this.

However, this designing thing encompasses more than my sharing something and getting varied reactions.  What is the point of designing if the outcome doesn't fit someone's need or if the outcome doesn't improve how something works?  THIS IS A BIG HOWEVER.

When we are children, if we have a supportive and loving upbringing, we can take chances and share and feel validated.  We learn to put our zany ideas out there, and maybe as we grow those ideas become viewed less as zany and more as a new approach.  Or, there is a celebration of zany and we learn to appreciate those who look at the world differently than we do.  If, as children, we encounter too much rigidity and love of rules, we learn to keep that zaniness under wraps, or become known as rebels, or some other neat label.

Here I am trying to develop a tool for teenagers who are embarking on a new step in their lives.  I was thinking this morning, about myself, and how often I can articulate exactly what I feel I need but find it falls on deaf ears.  And, I do the same with the young people in my life.  BAD MOVE.

Sometimes the "customers" or "clients" or "users" we are trying so diligently to serve are telling us exactly what they need, and we ignore the message and then wonder why our answer did not fit.

My meditations the past few days have been about how I have everything I need inside, and that I need to tune in to the still, small voice to get in touch.  I can tone down the noise I am making to tune in, and I wonder if that will be most of the noise?

Now, back to games.  In ENTER THE CAVE, I ask players to answer several questions about the "decoration" of their cave/space/dorm room.  One question is what will be the color of your comforter?  Let's take that to the next step.  When you see a COMFORTER on a bed, what is it or what does it symbolize?

My dorm bed did not look like this.  And, it was a haven, a social place, a study place, a resting place and perhaps could have been a personal statement if I had had the forethought to make it such.

What does a comforter mean to you, or your student?  A simple question?  Please send a comment.  I am trying to come up with another venue for SMALL STEPS GO PLACES followers to comment in some way, but for right now this is it.  You can also go to the bottom of the post and tell me if the post was useful!

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