When one likes an idea, evidence seems to appear for it everywhere. Nevertheless, I found a beautiful and touching example of the “virtues of being ridiculous” (as I called them) in the film Finding Neverland. In this film, playwright J.M. Barrie creates a scandal in the small minds of Victorian Scotland when he befriends a widow, Sylvia Davies, and begins spending his days playing make-believe with her four sons. Sylvia’s mother is a society lady who uses her time for High Seriousness and looks down on Barrie for his whimsical attitude, placing no value in the great joy it brings them.
Barrie found something beautiful and good and he stuck to it, though it won the disapproval of society and cost him his mostly-loveless marriage. Neither was that magical time simply an isolated pleasure in the lives of he and the children. It served as the inspiration for the brilliant, audacious play which we now know as Peter Pan. If Barrie had less faith in what he felt was deeply good in his life, the world would a poorer place.