Why Fun?

It was Feb. 2 - one of those special, once-a-month, symmetrically numbered days (2/2). But I didn't realize how special the day was until I found this message in my inbox:
I discovered your website today. It was very timely. For fifteen years, I have been soulsick, paralyzed by depression. I start becoming more active, but then I lose energy, and isolate myself.

A few days ago, I volunteered to be a docent for the Chinese garden, for a group of university students. Afterwards, I was supercharged. It felt so good to give these students something that might influence them, and it was FUN to run my mouth off for an hour about the garden. Yesterday, I bought myself Koosh balls and a yoyo, but I have been thinking of these things as distractions. But no, perhaps my life's work is to have fun.

I have bookmarked your site.

Thank you,
Almost immediately after I was able to exhaust my exhiliration with an extended Dance of Glee, I emailed Mary to ask if she would please, o please allow me to share her note with the known universe. She responded:
Sure, you may add it to your web log.

Today I had a day loaded with fun, and I didn't even feel guilty over it. (Well, not much.) I am happy to say that I have been too busy playing to visit your website again. I am glad that someone has the nerve to stand up and say that having fun is serious business. It seems like I have always thought fun was okay, once all the useful bits of life were taken care of. Of course, work will expand to fit the time allotted to it.

Which resulted in what one could only call a moment of personally pure "Primal Glee."

Oddly enough, fun is a hard sell. Most of us think we know everything we need to know about fun and the having of it, while, at the same time, most of us seem to be having so little of it. The people whom I've named Defender of the Playful are a few of the many who, like I, have given so much of their lives to bringing more fun into this world. It is not often that our work is appreciated, and less often that it is actually supported. Luckily, it hasn't stopped us. Even more luckily, from time to time, someone like Mary appears in our lives, to remind us that it is not all in vain. Not at all in vain.

from Bernie DeKoven, funsmith

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