What am I saying?

In Maori there is an imperative “Kia”. (Imperative may not be the right word grammatically.) It orders one around – “Kia pehea” “Like this” literally “Exactly like this.” When I say to someone “Kia pai to ra” I am telling them to make their day good. This implies that they have control over the situation and should do everything they can to make their day good. When I tell someone to “Have a good day” I am actually hoping that the situation is such that they will have a good day. The distinction between the two is fine and in fact may not exist for some people. It exists for me. I find it interesting.
If I say “Have fun” or “Drive safe” I am wishing for the situation to be fun, or that the other drivers and conditions on the road are safe. I do not assume that they can control the amount of fun that they have, I hope that they will have fun as an outcome of the situation.
I tell people to “Have fun” a lot. Often it’s in reference to something that both of us are pretty sure will be anything but fun. I don’t know why I do it. I think it is my way of saying “I am sympathetic to your situation but since I can’t do anything practical to help here are my good wishes”. Or something. It certainly makes more sense to say “Have fun” to someone who is going on holiday.


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