About five months ago, I decided to explore the Fifth edition rules set that was issued in 2014, and run a game for my friends. Now, just a little background, for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about Dungeons & Dragons is basically "bad improv" (I think this is fair to say) in a fantasy story that is (hopefully) masterfully narrated by a person in the role of Dungeon Master (I say this tongue-in-cheek). However, improv can be incredibly fun so don't knock it until you try it. :)
Of course there are rules and all that, but that's not what I'm going to talk about. Rather, it's the observation that (in the role of storyteller or "dungeon master") it's my pleasure to entertain folks, and a lot of this job has to do with storytelling tricks that are supposed to seem random but (in all actuality) they aren't random at all. Having difficulty following? Here's an example: a player's character comes across a magical weapon that is the exact weapon in which they are specialized. Mind blown, right? What a coincidence! Sooo crazy. Sarcasm aside though, I've noticed that no one complains. In fact, they seem to be really happy with the story.
So I got this idea in my head about how we all kind of trick ourselves into thinking that we've done something ourselves when we really haven't. For example, I work with handicapped people who (with the aid of a team of non-handicapped people) are able to climb mountains or even bobsled. Those accomplishments are theirs (with like ten other people working full time to make sure they succeed). So weird, right? But it's a "suspension of disbelief" and leads me to this statement: the joy you feel in accomplishing something is totally yours with the hidden acknowledgement that you should never EVER peek behind the curtain. I can think of lots of examples in life where someone's happiness about something depends on a suspension of disbelief that what happened to them was accomplished through a) skill, b) hard work, or c) brilliance. Nevermind that a whole team of people may have also been involved. Nevermind that it could have been just pure blind luck.
So what do you think? Are a lot of life's pleasures dependent on a certain level of disbelief? Here's another example (albeit absurd): is there a suspension of disbelief with regard to the food we eat? Are we all comfortable with eating fried chicken and beef because we don't see what makes it possible to put those things on our table? I would imagine that most people don't even give it a moment's notice. Rather, ignorance (as they say) is bliss, and the more and more I think about this cliche, the more and more I believe what it says about all of us and a very important key to something many of us find elusive: true happiness.