Girls shouldn’t just wanna have fun, and neither should anyone else. Consider this story told by J.P. Moreland in The Lost Virtue Of Happiness which he co-authored with Klaus Issler;
When my daughter’s eight-grade team was being creamed in a soccer game, the coach said at halftime, “Girls, don’t worry about the score. The reason we play soccer is to have fun; so let’s try to have a blast during the second half and go home happy whatever the final result.” That coach reminds me of Cyndi Lauper’s song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” He was mindlessly parroting the cultural mantra that pleasurable satisfaction is the goal of life. The reasons my wife and I wanted our daughter to play soccer where to learn how to win and to lose, to cooperate with others, to sacrifice for a long-term goal, which requires delaying instant gratification, and — well, you get the picture. What was really sad was not simply the coach’s speech, but the fact than none of the parents so much as batted an eye at his counsel.
We had a similar incident a few years ago with our son, Parker. We were thrilled when he became old enough to join Cub Scouts. We wanted him to see him involved in activities involving citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness. However, his weekly scout meetings became little more than play dates. He engaged in plenty of playtime at school, church, and with friends in the neighborhood. We hadn’t signed him up for more generic playtime but for activities of mind and body that would be fun but were aimed at specific goals.
We attempted to quietly get him transferred to a Cub Scout Pack in a neighboring town. But, the fact that we were willing to drive a half-hour out of the way to take him to a Cub Scout meeting when there was one two minutes from our house raised lots of questions. When we eventually shared our reasons with the Cub Master his response was almost identical to that of the coach in Moreland’s story above, “Yeah, but, well, they are having lots of fun.” He had confused the process with the telos, and in doing so the goal became “Cub Scouts just wanna have fun.”