This I Believe

Drew - Maryville, Tennessee
Entered on March 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: children

There was once a time, as kids, when we all did whatever passed along the wind of our whims. If we felt like playing outside, we played outside. If we felt like playing inside, we played inside. We played when we felt like it, we rested when we felt like it. But the fact of the matter is, we played. When was the last time you played? Do we play? Or do we reach a certain point, as humans going through this process called “growing up,” forget how to play?

It’s all a matter of fun. When did you last step out into the rain? When do you last jump into a lake or a pool with all your clothes on? As children, we yearn to do these things…where does that yearn escape to, as we grow older? Where does it go? Nowhere. A better question: Where do we put it? What do we cover it up with? Where do we hide it so that we can be mature, responsible, hard working adults? What was once the only thing we had to fill our time with, we now lose all time for. As we grow up, graduations become the markers: high school, college, perhaps graduate school, medical school, law school. Then it is training, internships, clinicals, residencies. All the while, other people saying, “It’s time for the ‘real world. Welcome!’” What if we don’t want to be welcomed? What if we don’t want to come in? What is the real world? A world of work, mortgage, worry? Striving for that corner office, the house in the suburbs, that next pay raise? What happened to contentment? The contentment of a child happy playing with a stick for hours, or riding a little red wagon. It begins to be replaced…we are no longer happy with the little red wagon; we need the newest car on the market. We are no longer happy with the stick, we need the best and most expensive toys, tools, and houses that we can afford…and oftentimes those we can’t. Granted, we must work, we must earn money, and we must support those we love. But we also have another responsibility that we often overlook. Perhaps not overlook…we frequently look outside our bubble, dreaming about what we want our life to be like, full of vacation and freedom. But then we shove it aside, victim to the drives of the world, whether it be accomplishments, misdirection, or the pressure to perform. That responsibility that we often bury deep within us is fun. And our responsibility is not to waste it.

The process of growing up is not only one of maturation, but one of knowing and adhering to rules and regulations and responsibilities. The problem is the rules are often extraneous, such as not doing anything unplanned, unguided, or spontaneous. Don’t do anything that doesn’t bring profit, or that wastes without return. But those very rules waste fun. We can live life, a better life, and a successful and happy life without adhering to those rules. By living the life of a child, by giving time for fun. Do not “set aside” time for fun. Just do fun. If you believe in life, believe in fun. Live up to the responsibility you once had as a child, what was once the only responsibility you had as a child: Don’t waste fun. Believe in it.