I live in the land of Disney, Hollywood and year-round sun. you may think that people in such a glamorous fun-filled place are happier than others. If so, you have some mistaken ideas about the nature of happiness.
Many intelligent people equate happiness with fun. The truth is that fun and happiness have little or nothing in common. Fun is what we experience during the act. Happiness is what we experience after an act. It is deeper, more abiding emotion.
Going to an amusement park or ballgame, watching a moive or television, are fun activities that help us relax, temporarily forget our problems, and even laugh. But, they do not bring happiness, because their positive effects end when the fun ends.
The way people cling to the belief that a fun-filled, pain-free life equals happiness, if fun and pleasure are equated with happiness, then pain must be equated with unhappiness. But,in fact,the opposite is true: more time than not, things that lead to happiness involve some pain.
As a result, many people avoid the very endeavors that are the source of true happiness. They fear the pain inevitably brought by things as marriage, raising children, professional achievement, religious commitment, civil or charitable work, self-improvement.
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, excitement. Marriage has such movement, but they are not its most distinguishing features.
Similarly, couples who choose not to have children are deciding in favor of painless fun over painful happiness. They can dine out whenever they want, travel wherever 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.
But couples who decide not to have children never experience the pleasure of hugging them or tucking them into bed at night .they never know the joys of watching a child grow up or of playing with a grandchild.
Of course I enjoy doing fun things. I like to play racquetball, joke with kids(and anybody else),and I probably have too many hobbies.