I was watching my young son diving as I trailed behind him. Being a child, and having grown up diving with me every weekend, he was super relaxed and playful in the water. I watched him approach a catshark and gently touch it’s body. The animal, instead of fleeing, lay down in the roots of the forest. My son then picked the animal up and took it to the surface. The catshark, which is a powerful animal that can easily escape from a young child, showed no resistance and lay relaxed in his arms - Craig Foster.
The great psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott postulated that children could loose a sense of “being” in childhood if they were not able to play enough. He believed that “being” was primary, and that “doing” was an outgrowth of it. If the “being” sense was undeveloped, the child could get caught-up in a compulsive cycle of “doing” to hide the absence of “being”, which children find terrifying. This could inevitably lead to existential problems expressed through depression and anxiety, because no amount of “doing” would be enough to fill the hole inside. Winnicott believed that the antidote to “compulsive doing” was to just play.