The Art of Doing Nothing


I think we are under a kind of illusion about life. Or should I say, modern life?

It’s all about productivity
It’s all about technological advances.
It’s all about the newest and greatest.
It’s all about moving forward, progress.

And also allow me to make a blunt statement, that in the name of progress, our successes become failures.

Maybe we ought to take a minute and stop to do nothing. More than the question of what and how to do, NOW. Perhaps it is time to consider what not to do. That it maybe a good idea to do nothing than do just anything.

So many of us, come out of the mothers’ womb and from that moment, we are to take off and start running, metaphorically. We say “Life is short.”

We also say “Life has a purpose. And the purpose is to get to that point.”

So therefore, we are to learn to eat, pee, poop, talk, walk, run, and then to get educated, to become successful, to contribute to community and the world… as fast as possible. Meanwhile we learn parents’ and elders’ ways of living philosophy, friends’ advice, society trend, marketing information and what not. Over the years, we accumulate more and more identities and expectations.

“Life has a purpose. And the purpose is to get the that point.”

Ah, so many things to do and accomplish.
From birth, we ought to never stop.
No matter what, we just gotta keep doing.

And so that is how humans had been for past hundreds, if not the last one or two thousands years.

As a result, we are incapable of knowing when not to do something. Or rather, we suck at doing nothing.

So there’s always supposed to be a point. But what point exactly is that? That we MUST have a purpose? We are ALWAYS to be productive? So much for free will.

We spellbind ourselves into the illusion that we must be doing something.

Despite all that. I find that in life, we only need to do a few things right in life to have a decent time. That much is definitely the truth.

However, because we must do something always, we do a lot of things that create messes and troubles and then we spend the rest of the time fixing them. Probably making more messes and troubles because we are not very good at doing nothing.

If we are able to do nothing, there are much less things for us to set right.

In a orchestra performance, each instrument is to wait until the exact moment to come in and out. In between, it is to be silent. Unable to do exactly that, the performance is ruined.

Doing the right thing in life is the same. Knowing in your bone who you are, what to do, and what to apply at the right moment. You simply do it. And you know exactly when to act because you are not busy doing something else.

Like a beast attacking its prey. Attack at the exact right moment means there is a meal. Any slight error means nothing to eat, perhaps for days.

However, the instance for us modern people is more so where let alone all the things we must do to succeed and accomplish, we also over-dose ourselves socially, mentally, and emotionally.

It is no wonder we all seem to end up with social, mental, emotional indigestion. Well, and likely physical indigestion too :P

When we cease to do nothing, we never get the chance to be with ourselves. We never learn to live with ourselves. We never come to understand ourselves. We never give our brain and body a chance to recuperate.

And most of us don’t even sleep enough.

The situation of the world and the state of affair amongst humans are self-spoken and evident enough that such living attitude is bringing us to the verge of going estranged. That is, if you think we are not already estranged.

A derived question from this topic, but nonetheless as important, is that as good as us modern people are with thinking and so fascinated by it that we even think about thinking, when and how do we stop thinking?

Because, doing nothing includes the cessation of thinking.

Some of you may find this somewhat doom and gloom?

Well, quite the opposite, the only reason and it is pointed out, and the fact that somebody (because I am not alone to observe this) can point this out, means that something can be done about it, by each of us. If you choose to.

Originally posted 2010-01-18 00:58:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2 Responses

  1. JTD says:

    I’d say it’s absolutely brilliant and the story of my life…

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