The Case For Whimsical Frivolity


I’m a Doctor Who fan. My daughter pressed me to watch the show for a few years before I finally gave it a chance, and I was completely smitten after the first few episodes. It is chock full of whimsical, intelligent, creative ideas blended with real, soulful relationships, playful and heartfelt dialog. It celebrates morals, doing good, conscience, making tough decisions and struggling with very hard choices. It is a show that is hopeful, and tragic. There is no place it can’t take the viewer. Plus it has wibbley-wobbly time travel (by way of a blue police box that’s ‘bigger on the inside’ called a Tardis) and attractive main characters. Yes, bow ties are cool.

So of course I was thrilled beyond pieces when a father-daughter team went public asking for donations to launch a Tardis into space to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. They actually MADE a little mini satellite that looks like a Tardis! Amazing! So, even if you aren’t a Doctor Who fan, you should watch their video because the two of them are great fun to watch as they explain their project and ask for help to fund it.

They needed $33,000 to put it into space.

In eight days, they had that amount from individual donations. And the donations continue to come. At the time of this writing, they’re up to $50, 000. The more money they get, the bigger Tardis they can build and launch into space. And it seems that Whovians everywhere want this to happen.

There were, however, some comments, concerns and judgments about that amount of money being raised in so short a time and how sad and frustrating it is that all that money could have gone to help feed the hungry, and other meaningful and helpful charitable endeavors. I admit, I thought the same thing. Gosh, if folks could get that excited and passionate about helping others that $33,000 can be raised in eight days then think of what we could do! But I didn’t dwell on it for long. I believe in supporting creativity also. Here’s some reasons why:

Firstly, this is a father and his 18-yrear old daughter working together to invent something that celebrates a shared passion. How many of us got to do that kind of thing with our dads? Or either parent? How many of us had a shared passion with a parent who was enthusiastic to actually come up with an idea and develop it with us? If we didn’t get that, I’m sure we can imagine how deeply meaningful that would be. If we did, then I’m sure we already get the importance of it. The difference here is that because of the internet and global community, these two could bring their idea and passion and whimsy to the world and share it with other Doctor Who fans. We all need and want creative fun ways to share in joy. We don’t all get it the same way, but it is all about hearts connecting, and supporting the relationship and the creativity of this father and his daughter.

Secondly, I’m a huge supporter of teaching kids that anything is possible. To dream big, and expect miracles. Why on earth would I judge and criticize a project like this because I was mad that the money didn’t go somewhere “worthwhile”? What can be more worthwhile than modeling for this clearly brilliant young woman that anything is possible? What can be more worthwhile than celebrating a young person’s ideas? Who knows what she’ll do next? Whatever it is, she’ll believe in herself, and believe in a world that will help her get there.

Thirdly, I don’t worry so much about the money and charities. From what I could find, it seems that in 2011 individual contributions to charities in the United States totalled 217.79 BILLION dollars. And that’s every year, and going up. This is ONE project, at $50K so far. Drop in the bucket if you think that there is a finite amount of funds to go around. But I don’t like to think in terms of scarcity or that the money donated to put a Tardis in space is taking away from money that should be going to charity. I believe there is enough. I believe people who donate to charity, and who help others, are not going to stop doing that. I have a hunch that folks didn’t see this project and think, “Hm…should I donate my monthly or yearly money I usually put to charity and put it here instead?”  No, I believe that what money got donated to this project was supplemental to what money is being donated annually to charity. And I truly believe that how the world works is if you put heart into it, it will grow something good. Open hearted joy is the best creator of abundance, and scarcity thinking is fear-based and shrinks the opportunities for growth. Give, if it’s what your heart calls you to do, and give where your heart is opened by the action. It feeds the good in the world.

The Tardis is a character all it’s own in the show, it’s not just a thing. And for fans, it’s a symbol of safety, conviction and belief, of creating space where it isn’t expected, of making the impossible, possible. To put a Tardis in space, into orbit, is to celebrate our collective dream that all of that is not just symbolism, but reality.

And it’s true: Anything is possible!

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  1. What a moving article. Everyone should read it – Dr. Who fan or not. Very balanced prospective. I’m sharing with everyone and also printing it and framing it. This logic can be applied to many situations. Thank you.

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