Are you happy?

After living in America for a period of time, influenced by the culture here, many non-Native Americans inevitably change their working styles and ways of dealing with others. In order to survive better in American social culture, I also noticed that I had unconsciously been infected with some social interaction and thinking modes of America, some of which had penetrated into my heart, some are only superficial imitation. However, in all American cultures, what I can’t learn or imitate is the attitude of “enjoying” everything, in the American version, it is “have fun.


Although I disapprove of many values of Americans, I am very envious of the attitude that Americans try to “have fun” in everything. The “have fun” mentioned here is not the kind of “fun” brought by the narrow sense and going out to play, but no matter the activities of leisure and fun, it is also a serious study or competition, and Americans seem to enjoy it as much as possible.


From time to time, I went to the scene to watch NBA games. After the game, reporters often interviewed the players, I found that most of the players’ conversations would say something like “We just went out there and had fun!” (We just come out to play) such words. I remember that when watching the TV broadcast of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in Greece, many American athletes participating in various competitions received interviews no matter before or after the Games, they all said almost consistently that they came to “have fun. These people are really incredible. Such a tense and high-pressure thing like the Olympic Games can even be regarded as “fun”. If I had already had difficulty breathing, cold sweat and heart attack, I just hope that the competition will end quickly and win quickly. There is no fun at all!


Not only a few Americans with strong heart function can “have fun”, but even ordinary people can “have fun” in anything, even something that we think can’t do with fun “. I noticed that when American friends were chatting with each other, when one talked about his own work or some affairs he participated in, the other usually asked, “Did you have fun?” (Did you have fun?). “have fun” is everywhere in daily life.


I remember there was a design class when I was a graduate student in Philadelphia. I made a lot of models that didn’t help design, thinking that I would be scolded by my tutor, unexpectedly, he looked at my model and only asked me, “Did you have fun?”. I was stunned and nodded, because I was really happy when I was making the model. The teacher responded, “Good! As long as you had fun .” (Very good, as long as you are happy); When working in a Seattle firm, every time I receive a new design task, even if there are some design schemes that I think are extremely boring, but when a new work team is formed, colleagues will always say, “We are going to have a lot of fun!” (We are going to have a lot of fun); In a class I took last semester, when the teacher gave us the final exam questions, he said, “I want you to have fun with this.” (I hope you can have a good time in the exam).


I am used to holding a reserved or moderate attitude towards many things. When I first came into contact with this phenomenon, I always thought Americans were fake and liked to pretend that everything was interesting, as for Americans who always describe anything as “fun”, they always don’t take it seriously. But the deeper we know about it, the more we find it is really a value deeply rooted in the hearts of Americans. Americans do believe that doing anything should “have fun”, however, this does not mean that you do things while playing seriously or do things with fun mentality, but represents doing anything with the attitude of “enjoying the process. Therefore, even in a tense match, players can still enjoy the competition. On the other hand, with this kind of attitude, even the most boring work can inspire people’s serious and dedicated attitude and enjoy it.


Why are our nerves always so tight? Why don’t we know “have fun”? Maybe it is because when we do anything, the component of doing our duty is more important, and the achievement of the goal is always more important than the process. We don’t know how to enjoy the working process, because the goal is too important, so I ignored my feelings in the process. Therefore, we study in order to get admitted to a good school, and go to a good school to find a good job. Finding a good job is to earn more money, and to earn more money is to live a good life for the rest of our life, what happened in the end? I worked hard all my life just to achieve the phased goal, but I didn’t want to spend more time celebrating my life.


I have immigrated to the United States for many years, and I have seen Americans who work as cleaners, porters or drivers and other jobs that ordinary people would complain bitterly. They work responsibly with smiles and pleasure. I remember when I was unhappy at work the year before last, Native Americans who heard my complaints all said, “the most important thing in work is ‘have fun’. If you can’t ‘have fun’, then why do you complain at the same time, and continue to do it?” (Author: kueihsienl, compiled: Joy)

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