Thursday, November 20, 2008

Easily Entertained

There are many characteristics that we find admirable in a person. We admire wit, intelligence, grace, determination, ambition, style, choice in sweaters (or one's choice not to wear them), quality of smile, robustness of girth, and many more.
But one which is more often overlooked is the ability to be easily entertained. In essence, it is to be able to be satisfied with the trivial, silly, inane, or perhaps slapstick of life. It is to get over one's depth for the sake of good old shallowness. It is the joy to be found in the superficial (I think a lot of women can relate to this). So that no one feels slighted let me give some examples: pictures of puppies and kittens, flower arrangements, cell phone games (like bejeweled), reading comics, jumping in leaves, eating raw cookie dough, writing nonsensical poetry and/or blogs, watching pet fish, staring at a freshly painted wall, psychoanalyzing your sane friends, crossword puzzles, and bingo.
Now you may recall that I have written about our tendency to distract ourselves almost endlessly with distraction and how that can be bad. However, this case is slightly nuanced. To be able to entertain oneself with the trivial is a survival mechanism. It's not something we do to avoid the big questions, but rather something we do in the mean time. For instance, at a dinner party you're not going to go up to some random person you've never met and say, "Do you believe life begins at conception?" You most likely will start of with, "That gravy is delicious, reminds me of my mom's home cooking." Then of course you can take that start into a conversation about your inner-child, but most likely it will stay on the level of un-intrusive triviality.

My point is that a self-contained person is a good person. If you can entertain yourself with little stuff, you are healthy. It does not mean you are forever trapped in a puddle of meaninglessness, but it means you have the tact and relaxed enough attitude to splash and find joy in the puddle without calling that same puddle into question, or ceasing to believe there is an ocean. 

So friends, let us frolic. 

1 comment:

Scott Earl said...

Good post. I think you're right about keeping oneself entertained. I mean hopefully you're not so unintelligent that you start saying something about "I wanna pet the rabbit George." But I think it's entirely accurate that being able to entertain yourself, or at least find simple pleasures in life, is a very healthy thing and will help ensure your happiness.

Also nice shot at women for their superficiality.