Don’t get me wrong: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is delicious–nobody’s saying it isn’t. It’s also ridiculously unhealthy and will kill you if you eat enough of it, but I’m sure that when Mssrs. Cohen and Greenfield started their ice cream shop up, killing people was the furthest thing from their minds. I even believe that the company is, or at least has been, a beacon of responsible corporate citizenship–honestly I haven’t looked at it in great detail since the Unilever takeover a decade or so ago, so I’m not sure whether that’s still the plan or if it’s just the brand strategy.
But notwithstanding delicious ice cream and the good will of the founders, I have always hated the slogan Ben & Jerry’s uses sometimes: “If It’s Not Fun, Why Do It?”
- Because the kids need to eat
- Because long-term happiness is more important than short-term pleasure
- Because you’ll be glad you did, even though it was difficult at the time
- Because you have a cavity
- Because tequila isn’t good for dogs
- Because it will clear the air
- Because you promised
- Because if you do it enough, it will really pay off
- Because it will help you do fun stuff in the future
- Because they can use your help
- Because the cat box isn’t going to clean itself
- Because integrity is more important (and more satisfying) than fun
I could go on like this all day, but they’re telling me it’s time for my meds. Let me just mention, though, that I’m very much in favor of making things you’ve decided to do fun–it’s practically essential. I’m just not in favor of deciding what’s worth doing based on whether or not it seems easy and pleasant. There’s more to life, right?