Happyness Is not Same to Fun

原创 2004年10月08日 16:37:00

I live in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />land of Disney, Hollywood and year-round sun. You may think people in such a glamorous, fun-filled place are happier than others. If so, you have some mistaken ideas about the nature of happiness.

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Many intelligent people still equate happiness with fun. The truth is that fun and happiness have little or nothing in common. Fun is what we experience during an act. Happiness is what we experience after an act. It is a deeper, more abiding emotion.


Going to an amusement park or ball game, watching a movie or television, are fun activities that help us relax, temporarily forget our problems and maybe even laugh. But they do not bring happiness, because their positive effects end when the fun ends.


I have often thought that if Hollywood stars have a role to play, it is to teach us that happiness has nothing to do with fun. These rich, beautiful individuals have constant access to glamorous parties, fancy cars, expensive homes, everything that spells happiness”. But in memoir after memoir, celebrities reveal the unhappiness hidden beneath all their fun: depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, broken marriages, troubled children and profound loneliness.


Ask a bachelor why he resists marriage even though he finds dating to be less and less satisfying. If he’s honest, he will tell you that he is afraid of making a commitment. For commitment is in fact quite painful. The single life is filled with fun, adventure and excitement. Marriage has such moments, but they are not its most distinguishing features.


Similarly, couples that choose not to have children are deciding in favor of painless fun over painful happiness. They can dine out ever they want and sleep as late as they want. Couples with infant children are lucky to get a whole night’s sleep or a three-day vacation. I don’t know any parent who would choose the word fun to describe raising children.


Understanding and accepting that true happiness has nothing to do with fun is one of the most liberating realizations we can ever come to. It liberates time: now we can devote more hours to activities that can genuinely increase our happiness. It liberates money: buying that new car or those fancy clothes that will do nothing to increase our happiness now seems pointless. And it liberates us from envy: we now understand that all those rich and glamorous people we were so sure are happy because they are always having so much fun actually may not be happy at all.

1. year-round adj.整年的, 全年不变的
2. glamor n 魔法;迷人的美  v 迷惑 -ous adj 迷人的
3. abid 持续 abiding 持久的
4. have nothing to do with 与什么无关
5. memoir 传记
6. commitment 许诺,委托事项,义务

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