I freakin’ love children. They have this innate ability to get so freaky obscure, profoundly deep or just ridiculously banal. Today I was in a very long drawn out negotiation with my 6 year old son, attempting to get him to help me in the garden for half an hour, with a big, but easy task.
We had our terms of trade – labour for ‘TV time’. I was just laying down a bit of philosophy, preempting that 5 minutes into the task, he was gonna get pretty bored.
Me: “Do you know the difference between an experience being Fine, and an experience being Boring?”
Son: “ Um, nahp.”
Me: “It is the way that you think about it!”
Son pauses, then eyes open wide: “Cool!”
Son gives thoughtful look: “Can you say it again?”
Me: “Ok. Do you know the difference between an experience being Fine and an experience being Boring?”
… It’s the waaaaay that you thiiiink about it.”
A long “Ohhhhhhhhhhh!” From son.
“Yeh, yeh” he starts to interject.
Me: “Yes, like the two ways of going up a hill.”
Here, I start, trying to refer to an existential lesson from earlier in the week regarding Stuart Wilde’s explanation of the difference between ‘Effort’ and ‘Struggle’.)* But he interrupts me, in all seriousness.
Son: “Yeh but, Mum?” He obviously has an important question!
Me: “Yes, Darling?
Son: “Yeh. But, why do ‘Pee’ and ‘Poo’ both start with the same letter?”
Checkmate. He wins.
*Note: Stuart Wilde explains the difference between ‘Effort’ and ‘Struggle’. He says that a lot of things we want to do take effort. But the difference between putting in Effort and Struggle is the difference between having a good time of it, and having a bad time of it and having to do it anyway.
That is to say: Effort plus resistance (or negative emotion) equals struggle.