This I Believe…
Everybody needs recess. Whether a squirrelly second-grader or a Wall Street executive, everyone needs to feel the relief of being excused from the “task at hand,” into the great outdoors, for a daily twenty minutes of freedom. Freedom to play. Freedom to let go of life’s pressures and stressors. Freedom to breathe fresh air or soak in the sunshine. Freedom to run through a spring rain or trudge through a winter snow drift.
“The Powers That Be” should schedule a mandatory, non-negotiable twenty minutes of recess into each day. They should understand that we are, after all, only human. We are not machines that function without fatigue. We are social beings who need a mental stress reliever built into each day. Recess is the respite we need. To ensure we are getting a proper respite, there should be recess rules: no whining, no worrying, no arguing, no gossiping, no cell phones. You must relax, giggle, find a friend, interact, use your imagination, be kind, and be outdoors.
A refreshing daily recess would work wonders for the soul. Recess would give us freedom to let our guard down and show our true colors in the company of our peers and coworkers. It would be liberating. There are no cubicles or walls outdoors, separating offices or classrooms. Just wide open spaces where we’d be free to mingle and socialize.
Recess would help us unwind from the person we become when we step indoors. Depending on what hat we are wearing on a particular day and what our workload and responsibilities are, we might be agitated, irritated, quiet, intense, or just plain bored. Recess would allow us an opportunity to calm down and connect with people in a casual, nonthreatening, outdoor arena.
Our busy lives keep us moving forward at a hectic pace. Sometimes our own agendas seem so important that we begin to question if we have lost the connection to the rest of humanity. We need a recess to unwind from that hectic pace. We need to take the time everyday to connect with family, friends, and strangers. Even if it’s only twenty minutes a day.
So the next time we’re feeling too rushed and we’re stressing out, ignoring our family, or passing a stranger without saying, “hello,” let’s ask ourselves one question. “When’s recess?”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.