This is to continue the discussion about Enjoy Doing or Being Able to Do. It inspired me to think about the negative statement of the same sentence: when we don’t want to do something, do we actually dislike doing something or dislike starting doing something?
I hate to go to bed at night. I have hundreds of reasons to keep awake and doing a lot of things – most them are done online with a computer. But I hate getting up in the morning worse. Later, I understood it was the action of going to bed I dislike, instead of sleeping itself.
It is the same for bath and swim. I enjoy bathing and swimming, but I dislike the moment to go into a bath room or I enter the swimming pool – it is especially true in cold winter. So I tend to delay it as much as possible.
Similarly, I just find out after living in Shanghai to ten years, I still cannot speak Shanghainese. Do I really dislike learning Shanghainese? I don’t think so. To learn a language is interesting, especially when you are in the environment that people around you speak it everyday. My previous excuse was, I don’t need to learn it. I can live very well without being able to speak Shanghainese. I tried to make me believe it. The reason is, I don’t want to get started. Is it a sign of my initial resistant to the culture of Shanghai? Maybe.
Foreigners also fall into two category: Some of them learnt Chinese quickly within half a year. Some even master Shanghainese which surprises every local residents. We call them Zhong Guo Tong (China Master). The others completely have no idea about Chinese. Some even stayed for three or four years without learning Chinese. In my article on Is English Skills That Important, some reader asked why foreigners refuse to learn Chinese and all people (sometimes all of them are local residents) have to use English if only one person who can not understand Chinese is there? I didn’t see the commenter tend to offense anyone, just a discussion about “starting to learn Chinese.” I guess there is also a cultural resistant that prevent people from START learning a language, instead of learning the language itself.
Recently, I started to learn Shanghainese. I even learnt some Cantonese – I learnt to pronounce Hua (Flower) as Fa in Cantonese. It turned out that if we have started doing something we don’t like, it may become very interesting and rewarding afterward.