2014.06.16 Please don't grow up

Germans have a lot of good words for mental states. Perhaps it is a remnant of German being the native language of Freud and Jung, the fathers of psychology as we know it. One of these words is Begeisterungsfähigkeit.

Online dictionaries translates it "enthusiastic" but it means more "the ability to get enthusiastic". In this meaning it is opposed to "blasé" - the pretentious posture that one has seen everything and there is really nothing in this world that can surprise in a good way.

It is a bit like the difference between taking a 5 year old to an amusement park and reading a New York Times book review of a certain kind.

Americans are as a general rule Begeisterungsfähig. It is one of their most endearing (and sometimes annoying) traits.

The endearing part is that they often have this contagious enthusiasm for their endeavors. If anybody should have a chance of selling sand to a Saudi prince, it would be an American.

Part of their enthusiasm can be found outside the local theaters whenever there is an opening night for great movies. One thing is that thousands of people pay astronomical amounts for the privilege to go to Comi-Con, the yearly gathering of everything superhero of fantasy related. But on a normal Friday - or in many cases at 0:00 on Friday morning - when the new release of a movie comes out, theme dressed moviegoers line up for hours outside the local theaters.

I recall when the last installment of Harry Potter, the book, came out. The local bookstore had a box opening party at midnight where witches and warlocks and a few Gryffindors and Slytherins went book shopping in the wee hours of the morning. The next day we were going to Denmark and the books were everywhere in the cabin - out from people's carry on luggage the moment they stepped on the plane.

We are talking about adults here, not just kids or teenagers.

When we went to see the newest release of Tolkien's/Peter Jackson's Hobbit movie, a local artist was selling maps of Silidor Valley outside the movie theater. She has permitted that I display her beautiful work of art that can be found on urbanrealms.com.

So while one part of me shakes the head and wonder if these people will ever grow up, another part urges, please, keep the Begeisterungsfähigkeit, the world needs enthusiasts.