Are we the only species who does that? Do other species engage in the sheer pleasure of its purity, without regard to any instructional end or substantive gain resulting therefrom?
Of course, anthropomorphism often presides when issues of interpretive psychology is involved; and thus do we say when the lioness and her cubs are engaging in playful wrestling, that she is “teaching” them how to interact within acceptable boundaries; or when dogs race around with abandonment, that they are letting go their pent-up energy, etc.
Whether with purposive resolve or not, the purity of engaging in pleasurable activities is a necessary component of life; it is for those pleasurable moments, however few, far-between and of whatever nature, for which the remainder of human drudgery becomes worthwhile to endure. The ratio between “work” and “pleasure” may be different for each individual — i.e., for some, it may be an acceptable threshold to maintain a balance between 80% work and 20% pleasure; or, perhaps, of 2% versus 98%, or thereabouts.
When the recipe bifurcating the two goes askew — where leisurely activities without seemingly purposive intent outweighs one over the other, we then begin to suspect and allege hedonism, wastefulness and wanton loss of self-worth. Why is that? Can one not have pure fun each and every day, for every waking moment, without being looked down upon with judgmental eyes of damning disdain?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the question of a ratio between “work” and “pleasure” has already been resolved and answered: For, with a medical condition, there is no acceptable level of balance between the two.
Medical conditions by their very definition conflate and confuse the two; no longer is it possible to escape the vicious cycle of work-and-no-pleasure, precisely because the pain of the medical condition disrupts both.
When that threshold of balance between work and leisure becomes so out-of-whack that life’s pleasurable moments, however small and limited, can no longer be enjoyed, then it is time to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, so that the ratio between work and play can be regained to the extent that “pure fun” can attain its semblance of purity, and where “fun” can again be enjoyed without the interruption of life’s drudgery.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire