Dolphins not only play and “have fun” during adult age, but they do it in group. However, instead of developing competitiveness in opposed teams, it seems they prefer to “share” abilities and skills, encouraging each other, so as to have an even level between all the individuals in the group.

Several questions rise to me at this point:

– Why do they play together instead of ones against others?

They surely leave the confrontation for the “real” life, when they fight for food or a female. This would mean that “aggressiveness” is not trained during gaming, but left as a somehow “undesirable” aspect not to be developed, but to be revealed “only if necessary” or as we else know these situations:  “in case of emergency”.

Playing therefore, must have a very high status in dolphins pods. We could say that way, not only skills are increased but bonds in the group as well. We could probably compare this behaviour to what we know nowadays as HHRR naming of “team-building”. The BIG – HUGE difference is basically that in the case of dolphins, this “team-building” attitude is horizontal and autonomous. There isn’t anybody leading these activities. While in human organizations and companies, it’s the company that impulses or not “team” activities. I’m sure that if staff or employees would want to carry out these kind of actions by themselves, they should be asking for permission first, or simply do it outside the work environment, as if it’s their own interest.

– Are there other aspects in our lives that could resemble the way dolphins  practice games in group?

We can see in the video, that surfing would be, similarly to how dolphins surf, one of these activities. I could also think of dancing, but dancing, from a social point of view, in most cases is more related to the relationship between members of a couple.

Sports in general, tend to be biased by competitiveness, although we can think of sports that are not structured in teams competing between them, for one to win: ski, surf, and in general, those related to natural environments.

– Do we – human beings – “really” keep on playing when adults?

Certainly we do, but I’d say that when we finish our studies, our jobs become our “key” activity in our lives. And we are not very keen on considering our jobs as a game, do we? Do we have fun in our jobs? Sometimes, yes. Up to which extent we see our colleagues as “pairs” or “competitors”?  And if we think of developing skills, related to our tasks and specific jobs, isn’t it true that we will tend to do it individually, so we can stand out from the rest of our colleagues?

How is then, the balance/tension between our own individual benefit and the benefit of the company achieved/solved, should it be compared to a pod of dolphins?


One Response to “Playing”

  1. […] recently posted my thoughts about groups between dolphins – called pods, and how almost every activity between members of […]

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