Yup, yup, yup, you’ve got to be seen to be ‘doing’ something. Anything, but doing is the operative word. Our culture just doesn’t understand that one can actually sit still or look at the stars and just be happy not doing anything. As if it’s not enough that we’re judged on:
- our looks, our bodies, the colour of our skin, the size of our thighs, our cheekbones, our butt, or even the amount of cellulite creasing our waists and other body parts.
- our education, our home addresses, the vehicles we drive or the lack of one
- our jobs, the companies we work in, the seniority (everyone, just about everyone at least in my country thinks that if you’re not ‘climbing the career ladder’, you’re such a loser) of your job position
- the kind of vacations you go to, the clothes you wear, the parlour you go to or the pubs you visit or the restaurants you eat at
- the kind of music you listen to, the kind of weddings you attend (yes, the plusher and more ostentatious they are, it means, at least you have arrived in life, whether the bride and groom have doesn’t really mean a fig)
We’re so mired and steeped in a culture that the art of doing nothing has been completely obliterated from our pysches. But I am curious to know what it means to be doing something. Do you wonder if:
- doing something means that you are intelligent and are purposeful?
- doing something means that when you are on vacation, it means that your itinerary has to be full of ‘stuff to do’ – a tick in the box for all the sights and sounds that the guide books mark as important, the shopping, the ‘I went to so and so place and it was awesome’ when secretly they are cursing spending the ‘friggin 850 US$’?
- doing something means that God forbid you are an artist or a sculptor or even a writer, people still ask, ‘so what do you do?’
- doing something means that just in case you actually love your own company, it means that ‘you could be self-centred or something is wrong with him/her, he’s always by himself, God knows how she can be on her own like that’?
- doing something means that it automatically has to fit the definition that the world at large has defined: to be gainfully employed in a job or a profession that passes muster by society and earning an ‘x’ amount and doing things that other ‘normal’ people DO?’
- doing something means that one must somehow forego passion, dreams, aspirations and join the bloody rat race and grow old in meaningless routines and never explore your full potential of who you are or what you can do?
- doing something means not even understanding what ‘exploring the limits of my own potential and humanity’ really really means?
This has been troubling me a while and I’ve been doing some thinking around it. I don’t know the answers and I’m not saying that those who put in an honest (or even dishonest) hard day’s work are all silly, stupid and right now, this very minute everyone should basically get up and revolt and quit their well paying jobs and just go fly kits. No siree, I’m not saying that. All I’m saying is why are we afraid to explore the truth for ourselves? Can truth really be that scary? My God! If it is so, then maybe, just maybe we all need to have our heads examined or change our vocabulary or change the meaning of Truth in our lexicons and erase everything that our masters have ever told us about Truth and meaning.
Doing nothing is an art. A lost art. Not everyone who is born needs to follow the rules as set by some society some where, some time ago. Let’s free ourselves from the mindsets that have held us prisoners for far too long. Let’s rewrite the rules as some of us are actually daring to do. Hallelujah to those who dare to do….nothing! Because nothing is also something after all. Think about it.
And while you mull over it, perhaps this song will help you understand that lying on the earth, looking at the sky can also be extremely rewarding. It’s actually love-ly! Try it.
Would love to hear from you about what you think of the art of doing nothing. Are we making too much of nothing, or making too much of everything? :).