Wednesday, 28 December 2016


IDLENESS

“Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler.”  -- Dr. Samuel Johnson
Idling is the "act of doing nothing"
And doing nothing is not Laziness by any means. It’s a choice and way of life. For some reason deciding to do nothing is seen as negative and something only lazy people do. There are some very subtle differences between the two words Lazy and Idle , which means we can’t use them completely interchangeably. For example, “lazy” will always have a negative connotation; it will give us a very negative idea of the person it’s being used to describe. So lazy is always seen as a very bad thing. 

However, idle can be used in other contexts, still to mean something or someone doesn’t work, but without the negative judgement
.
Doing nothing does not mean, literally doing nothing. The idler does not ‘work’ for benefits(monetary or otherwise) and you will not see him in the rat race for position, power, money etc.,

*Recent research suggests that, though our instinct is for idleness, people will pick upon the flimsiest excuse to keep busy. Moreover, people feel happier for being busy, even if their busyness is imposed upon them. In their paper, Idleness aversion and the need for justifiable busyness (2010), Hsee and colleagues surmise that many purported goals that people pursue may be little more than justifications for keeping busy.
This, I believe, is a manifestation of the manic defence: the tendency, when presented with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, to distract the conscious mind either with a flurry of activity or with the opposite thoughts or feelings. 'To do nothing at all,' said Oscar Wilde, 'is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.'*

Have you ever given a thought, what people did before the advent of this ‘Work’ culture of 9-5?

After the advent of Industrial revolution in the west, work has become the byword for ‘living’. Our society values work, productivity and ‘doing’ and not ‘Living’. Not being engaged in some type of activity is seen as negative and unproductive. Consider the inherent danger in non-stop productivity. It can separate you from yourself. If you don’t work , you have no Identity. If you are always doing, when do you get a chance to just be? And in the present world, work is everything, including your Identity. You run the risk of seeing your identity only in terms of what you do, and not in terms of what you are. Work is not an enemy, it only becomes the enemy when we allow work to take over our lives and our sense of self. When we ask  the question “who are you?” and we reply ” I am an accountant, lawyer, policeman, CEO…”, it is a sign that our self worth and our identity is based on the economic value of the job we do! Doing nothing will give you a chance to reconnect with your inner self*.

Idleness, is a  movement to stop all movement. An invitation to fully be in the present moment. A moment to simply embrace life as it is. As such, being idle can become a part of the broader celebration of life
Doing absolutely nothing costs absolutely nothing.
 In Allan Watts words :
Nothing is easier than to give up the world, because one is incompetent in the affairs of the world. There is no wisdom in scorning riches simply because one is unable to obtain them, nor in despising the pleasures of senses, because one has not the means of fulfilling them. If the desire for these things exists, and if that desire is thwarted by circumstances, to add self deception to frustration, is to exchange a lesser hell for a greater. No hell is worse than that in which one lives without knowing it. For the desire which is scorned for no other reason than it cannot be satisfied is the greatest of man’s enemies.

*from Psychology Today by  Dr.Neel Burton 

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