Someone who recently read my blog told me it was about telling people the most important thing in life is to have fun, no matter what. I was a bit stunned. I've taken great pains to make sure my words couldn't be misinterpreted that way.
I'm a writer by choice and career, so I've studied how to pick and chose your words to express what you mean—and at the same time, ideally not convey anything you don't mean—for fifteen years now. So hearing the content of my blog reflected back to me as exactly what I've been trying to avoid has to make me think.
Have I failed to communicate what I really mean here?
Looking back over my posts, I certainly don't see it. I strongly advocate responsibility and taking life seriously.
Or is it possible that the oppression of adults in this area is so strong, certain people will read their reactionary responses into what I write, no matter what I write?
So that merely to say: fun and play are good things to maintain in your life as an adult, will only be heard by some people as an adolescent cry to 'party hearty'? That seems more likely to me. I wouldn't have started this blog if it was on a topic everybody already agreed on, and if I didn't think I could do some good with it. My work in peer counseling and on ending oppressions since 1994 is what lead me down this path. As a creative person, and someone burdened by over-responsibilty as a child, I've fought to reclaim the good things that come from wonder, play and fun. I've seen how hard the push is to make grown-ups repudiate them in the name of feeling superior to children. And the damage done to us all by the idea that children are lesser to adults and that only kids have something to learn from adults. Just like the idea that it's only woman who have something to learn from men, when the reverse is true for both.
Nowhere do I ever say that life is all about having fun and that that's the most important thing. I would consider that something akin to hedonism, which goes against the grain of hopefullness and the deep seated belief in human goodness that I do believe in. Hedonist don't think life is about fun, they believe life is so bad (it sucks and then you die), that in response they act on the idea that pleasure is the only thing worth pursuing. That's all about a form of hopelessness, and a deep seated despair of human nature. This blog is about holding out some truths that sometimes get obscured by oppression. That FCI, wonder, and play are not things you have to give up in childhood in order to become a 'real' adult, and that being an adult doesn't have to mean letting yourself be ground down by responsibility and productivity to the point of 'clouded brow' bitterness and resentment.
Here's someone who puts it really well:
Whether you agree or not, thanks for reading my posts. And your comments are welcome.
Amber Michelle Cook's Blog
A call to all grown-ups everywhere: Play!