Cathy Eads, of Atlanta, asks some charmingly obvious questions. If you would like to submit a post to Clearing the Fog, please contact us here.
Dragons pepper the stories of literature with the flavor of excitement, adventure, and terror. They provide a threatening menace for St. George to slay, prey for the chivalrous knights to hunt, and a dramatic theme in many a tale across ancient and modern times.
Despite the detailed physical descriptions of their fiery breath and reptilian bodies, dragons are fictitious creations of our collective imagination. Most of us enjoy suspending our disbelief to indulge in the fun of reading about and watching the illusions of these mythical creatures.
Make believe and pretend play are innocent and universally human endeavors. Remember who you pretended to be as a kid? A superhero? A cop or robber? A ghoul or villain? An astronaut or a star athlete? A character from your favorite book or movie? A princess, or maybe even a queen?
Did you ever dress up and enjoy the fun of acting the part of your alter ego—especially if it showed off the polar opposite of your “normal” self? Ever feel a little extra confidence temporarily just because you were emboldened by playing the part? On Halloween, did dressing up make the candy haul a somewhat secondary reward to the compliments you earned for your awesome costume?
Was anyone harmed by your dress-up acting? Did it threaten anyone’s identity? Did anyone suddenly change their mind about who they were on “regular days” because they witnessed you in costume?
Did your pretending bring anyone joy? Did it make anyone laugh or smile, give a thumbs up or a high five? Did it entertain others? Did your pretending to be a fictitious character change who you were deep down inside—or open you up to feel more fully yourself, allowing your creativity to shine? Did it make you feel happy?
Whenever a powerful group of people tries to extinguish an expression of other people’s freedom, joy, creativity, or shared happiness, THAT is no fictitious beast. THAT is a terrifyingly real and legitimately dangerous creation of human ignorance.
To everyone who believes pretend, dress up, and make believe are one part of the human pursuit of happiness, I say DRAG-on, my friends, DRAG-ON! I wholeheartedly defend your right to do so and delight in the glittering sparks of joy it brings to this troubled world.