Thursday, September 13, 2012

prompted because I have been watching way too many episodes of Rosemary & Thyme

If it's not fun, fast, easy and cheap then I'm not interested.

A good motto for shopping or making a quick dinner or sewing beanbags but not so good for really important things. For things like learning a new skill, gaining an education, becoming physically fit, building/maintaining a relationship, serving others, overcoming a destructive habit or achieving a goal - for those kinds of things that life motto just won't do.

The truth is that to achieve excellence in anything valued requires sustained, challenging and often un-fun effort. And it's nearly always costly, in both time and effort and often even money. It's all discipline and endurance and problem solving coupled with frustration. Ugh. Who wants that?

Come on. To be challenged, focused and stretched over days, months and years? Give me cheap thrills, instant gratification and something for nothing because even though we may embrace and live by these words it's interesting we don't want to claim the results. Who wants to be known as a lazy, shallow bugger? No, we want to be known as a thoughtful and qualified person even if we only appear to be instead of actually are.

But! The reason hard, long, difficult/challenging and costly is a better motto is because that's how growth, competence and meaning come into our lives, not to mention joy.

Insert rant:

Look, I don't really hate the idea of fun, it's just a word that has so many meanings. When it means lazy, constantly looking to be entertained, seeking for cheap thrills at the expense of more meaningful pursuits then I scold myself for having succumbed. Ahem. When it means a reward after long hours of toil, a release, or rejuvenation, fine, I'm ok with that. When fun means smiley face happy all the time then I want to smack it right across the mouth because I can't take fun seriously. It just doesn't have the gravitas or authenticity that other emotions have for me. I know, I know. There's therapy for that. A yellow personality is not inferior to a blue/red. I know this in theory but (shh!) I don't believe it. And yet, who am I to even talk? I think cardboard crafting is FUN and if I could I would spend all my waking hours with a glue gun.

Then I read this today:

“I hate the idea that, when it comes to books and learning, HARD is often seen as the opposite of FUN. It's strange to me that we should be so quick to give up on a book or a math problem when we are so willing to grapple, for centuries if necessary, with a single level of Angry Birds.” ― John Green

Aha! I can totally get on aboard with the idea that fun means to be excited. Being excited about working hard toward something meaningful or creative that is a much better definition, eh?

End of rant. Back to original point.

Fun, fast, easy and cheap. For some days, some occasions and some tasks, ok. But it's no way to live your life, Candy. Quit with the gardener detective shows.

1 comment:

lacy lee said...

what gardener detective shows??