A Grin at the End: Living life just for the fun of it

December 2009 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

By Carl Sampson

You’ve probably seen the video of the folks in Sweden who turned a flight of stairs into a piano keyboard. As passers-by walked up the stairs, each step played a note.

It’s a variation of a kids’ toy I once saw and looks like a ton of fun, even for someone like me, whose knowledge of music is limited to the Captain and Tennille’s greatest hits.

The point of the Swedish experiment was to find out if more people would take the stairs than the nearby escalator if the stairs were more fun.

Sure enough, fun won. Far more people were willing to exercise if it was fun.

The experiment was a part of something called The Fun Theory, which is a pretty cool idea. Sponsored by Volkswagen, it basically is out to prove that doing the right thing doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, it can be fun.

Another example of a fun project is a “bottomless” trash can that makes a sound as though the trash was falling 100 feet when you toss it in. Folks ran around picking up trash to have stuff to throw into the trash can. No litter patrol was ever that much fun.

When you think about it, fun comes naturally. All you have to do is watch a kid. Tell a kid to do anything and the next thing you know,  it’s been turned into a game.

For example, tell my 12-year-old to pick up his clothes and the hamper becomes a basket and he turns into Brandon Roy. By the time the final basket is shot, the room is clean.

I think fun should be a way of life. So often, I see folks moping around town, looking like their dog just died. I mean, come on. I’ve been through tough times – we all have. But it’s how we react to those times that reveals what sort of person we are.

Likewise, day-to-day life can be a drag. Some days, just getting out of bed can be a challenge. But if you give it a try, it can be fun — or at least bearable.

And work for a lot of people isn’t exactly a laugh riot. There are layoffs and really tough decisions that no one wants to make. Yet, if you go into it with the attitude that nothing is worth giving up your good attitude for, you’ll come out ahead every time.

I’m not one of those rose-colored-glasses-wearing ditzes that doesn’t grasp the seriousness or importance of anything. OK, maybe I am. But still I’d rather be have a positive attitude and deal with things as they occur than grump around looking for the cloud in front of every silver lining.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the coming year. Compared to last year, 2010 will be great. The economy will continue to kick back into gear. More jobs will be created, and the stock market will keep going up.

And do you know what? I’m going to have more fun.

That’s one New Year’s resolution that I’m going to keep.

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