Fun's Fun, part two - More or Less

On the other hand, sometimes a thing that you do for fun isn't as much fun as it used to be, and some other times it's more fun than you remember it ever being before.

After several tours around the park near my son's house, discussing why it is that some things seem like more fun than others, we came to the conclusion that it has less to do with the fun of the thing in itself, but more with how much fun we're finding in it at the time.

We could at the time be finding a lot of fun in, for example, just walking together, father and son, in the relative peace and loving relationship in which we are finding each other, on this remarkably warm day in this lovely little park in Jerusalem, while there's no war in Gaza. On the other hand, we were finding at least as much fun talking about fun, in the conversation, in the intimacy of shared thought. It's not that the talk was in itself more fun than the walk. It's just that it was in the talk and in the walk that we were finding the fun.

The fun of the walk, on Csikszentmihalyi's chart, was something closer to what I've been calling minor fun. It's fun. It can be great fun. But talking, conversing, being in dialog, is higher on the flow channel. It can become far more complex, far more demanding, require far more of our minds and hearts. But, again, walking is not necessarily more fun than talking - when they're really fun, walking or talking, they're really fun - one just as really, as deeply, as totally as the other, separately or together. The same being true of mountain climbing and daydreaming, giving or getting a massage.

The thing about the kinds of fun you find in different positions in the flow channel is not that one is more fun than the other, but that each is the kind of fun you can get more or less of yourself and the world into - the kind of fun that can amuse you or challenge you to the very edge of all your vast abilities; the kind of fun that can lead you to regaining, or losing your very life.

Which, when you think about it, is something - depending on how much fun you are having, and what moment of the world you find yourself in - you could also say about talking and walking with your son in a park in Jerusalem.

from Bernie DeKoven, funsmith

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