Parallel Play

I once maxed out the allotted time to complete a subject. Actually, it’s more than once, but I could never forget this one. I got an incomplete in communications 2: writing.

I had no regrets if it took me a year to be able to get my grade in comm2. The INC on my class card was like a “WELCOME to UP” banner to me. It was an eye opener for me that this school was not a walk in the park. This was unlike any other schools. This is the premier university and it was going to slap me in the face.

I failed in the most basic requirement for the course: make a comprehensive outline. There was a catch to just making an outline, it had to have an impact on Filipinos and it had to be interesting enough for my aged professor. I tried so many topics and so many outlines. I even felt insulted when I tried to propose vegetarianism and was denied because it was not something that would impact Filipinos. I wanted to slap her and tell her how many Filipinos are actually vegetarian.

I tried to be persistent. I returned to scratch and tried to propose something I could use when I progress to my junior and senior years. I tried the easiest: playing. Later on, I never regretted choosing the topic because I really used it for my senior thesis.

Whenever we see children playing, we often see how pointless their games could be: ceaseless running, exploring, grabbing and many other things. Most parents would even chastise their children for playing too much. Most of us fail to see is that these children’s sole job is to play games. It has an integral role in development and learning. It may seem simple to the naked eye, but for all we know, playing has its various aspects and stages.

In a nutshell, the social aspect of playing could be observed with the way children interact with other children. At first, children tend playing alone. It’s called solitary play. Then they notice other children and do what they do but do not engage in any activity with them. It’s called spectator play. They will play alongside other children but still won’t interact. It’s called parallel play. Later on, they’ll try to share toys and activities but in small increments. It’s called associative play. Finally, when they start playing together and sharing toys together, the stage is called cooperative play.

I just observed that as in everything else, what we go through as a child also happens more or less in adolescence or adulthood on a larger or more complicated scale. Whenever we’re new on a job or a place, we tend to shift from solitary to spectator to parallel to associative and finally to cooperative. Although this time, we don’t call it play. I don’t mean to generalize and I am not even a sociologist or a psychologist to conclude such things, but it seems to me that there is a pattern.

What brought this to mind was the idea of how parallelism could happen wherein a person would discover something that another person in a different place would also discover without having any personal contact. It happens. History has a lot of proof.

The 8th chapter of the Great Controversy by Ellen G. White tells an amazing account of two men who discovered similar things at almost a similar era but have not met or convened.

A few weeks after Martin Luther was born, a certain Ulrich Zwingle was born. The former was in Saxony, while the latter was in the Alps. The similarities were uncanny. Both came from a poor family but with parents who had that desire to give their children a good education. Both studied under the best institutions of their nation, both were scholars and both discovered Christ.

Ulrich studied at Bern, Switzerland, which then had the best institution in the country. He was a scholar. It was said that his intelligence was desired by both the Franciscan Friars and the Dominican Friars of his time. His genius as a speaker and writer so compelled both friar groups that they fought by showing the young Zwingle their riches and their pomposity to lure him to them. They used all manner of deceit and guile to induce the young man in joining their seminary. His father put a stop to all these by telling his son to stop. He was obeyed, and, in the process, the young Ulrich met God.

Ulrich’s instructor Wittembach was instrumental in opening the eyes of the Swiss reformer. Having studied Greek and Hebrew, he was able to learn of the message of the Holy Scriptures which he promptly taught to his students including Zwingle. “He declared that there was a truth more ancient, and of infinitely greater worth, than the theories taught by schoolmen and philosophers. This ancient truth was that the death of Christ is the sinner’s only ransom.” GC.

This prompted the young Zwingle to search the scriptures. His research lead him to commit himself to word of God alone. “The Scriptures,” said Zwingle, “come from God, not from man, and even that God who enlightens will give thee to understand that the speech comes from God. The word of God… cannot fail; it is bright, it teaches itself, it discloses itself, it illumines the soul with all salvation and grace, comforts it in God, humbles it, so that it loses and even forfeits itself, and embraces God. (GC)”

The amazing thing was that he too stood against the collection of indulgences and the worship of Christ not the pope. Similar to Luther, yet they have not made any efforts to communicate. They were preaching similar things at the same era yet were divided by thousands of miles. This proves how consistent God is and how his word is true wherever and whenever. More so that even if you study it at a different era and at a different place, you’ll still see Jesus at every turn.

So whatever stage you are in, be sure that there is a consistent God who never changes with time and space. Trust in Him and He will lead you on.

“Wherever there is faith in God, there God is; and wherever God abideth, there a zeal exists urging and impelling men to good works.” – Ulric Zwingle


One thought on “Parallel Play

  1. It is 2:06 AM (EST). I’ve been up for about an hour attempting to capture an image and thoughts about brain, memory and learning. As I lay in bed, I was reminded how the order of the elements was “discovered” in a dream.

    While looking for an image on play (all children learn through play), we do our best work while playing,etc. I found this blog post. Talk about synchronicity! My dear wife has an elegant way of framing things, “There is the excuse and the real reason.” My excuse was looking for images to represent play, the real reason to read your post and be inspired.

    I love your comment: This proves how consistent God is and how his word is true wherever and whenever. More so that even if you study it at a different era and at a different place, you’ll still see Jesus at every turn.

    So whatever stage you are in, be sure that there is a consistent God who never changes with time and space. Trust in Him and He will lead you on.

    I am confident the God who never changes with time and space is leading me. I trust Him and he led me to your blog. Thank HIm and thank you!


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