There are moments in my day when I don’t feel like doing anything, literally nothing – no phone, book, TV. I just like to sit and stare at something and muse over various types of thoughts that may or may not affect my life. It’s not that I’m lazy, in fact I love to be active and do something always but there are certain moments in a day when even the idea of lifting your hands feels like too much work. The best part of idling is that I don’t get bored, I somehow feel refreshed and more energetic than before. Weird, but true.
In today’s time, people rarely do this. Our lives are victims of numerous gadgets surrounding us that we no longer “do nothing”. Imagine sitting in a restaurant waiting for a friend, your friend is late, what do you do? I’m sure most of the people would use their smart phone because why waste even a minute of your life. Even I use my phone few times swiping left / right / up / down. But after a while I leave my phone and just stare ahead and probably look around at different people (not in a creepy way though). As if having smartphones was not enough, even cab / trains have started putting tablets for entertainment of passengers. What happened to just looking out of the window and observing surroundings, too boring maybe for many people.
The art of “doing nothing” has vanished to a point that people don’t know the meaning of it. Sitting idle is being treated as being crazy, we are expected to do something always. The thought is so much inbuilt in our lifestyle that the moment you have nothing to do, the small smart companion immediately comes to rescue so that we don’t look like a fool staring at the walls.
This made me think, what were we doing before in the pre-phone era. I remember my days when I would just look at people and make comments in my head, when I would greet people passing by because I was looking up and not at my screen, when I would just doodle something nice on the tissue napkin, when I would just plan my day in my head or just enjoy the flavour of coffee in full essence.
In 1670, French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in his Pensées, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Isn’t this true in today’s time, we just don’t enjoy sitting alone in a room thinking. We are so compelled to do some activity that the thought of daydreaming sounds awkward or crazy. In fact, this compulsion of being busy all the time has actually left us less productive and crazier. We rely on phone to wake us up, plan our day and send reminders, things we should have been able to do in our minds but cannot do now.
A man’s true companion should be his own self with dedicated quite time for processing self-awareness. The incessant obsession of looking “extremely occupied” by checking messages, emails, facebook or candy crush should be replaced with a peaceful desire to self reflect and do nothing. How about once in a while we all learn to enjoy time with our own self.