Forced to Play

A Hans Zimmer concert is not about Hans Zimmer. It’s about some 20 musicians, each of which gets their time in the limelight. When he introduces Tina Guo, the star cellist glueing the band – and much of the show – together, Zimmer recounts a conversation they had years ago:

“Tina was born in China. Her parents had a music school. She started playing cello at the age of seven. One time, she told me: ‘My life was so hard. They forced me to play six to eight hours every day.’ I said: ‘You know Tina, that doesn’t sound so bad – after all it’s still playing.’ Thank god she never stopped. Today, she still does it and does it brilliantly. Maybe we should all play a bit more. Live life more playfully. Just watch how Tina does it.”

Gamers play games. Writers play with words. Musicians play instruments. A project manager plays with the elements of a project. People, deadlines, tasks – it’s a puzzle they get to solve. Even a street sweeper can dance with his broom if he chooses.

There’s more play in life than we think. Not always literally, but often figuratively, and even if we are forced sometimes, it’s probably not so bad. After all it’s still playing.