'When Doing Nothing Is Doing Everything’
‘To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.’- Oscar Wilde
‘The inner fire is the most important thing humankind possesses.- Edith Sodergran
‘Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving.’-Bell Hooks
‘The mystery of love is that it protects and respects the aloneness of the other and creates the free space where he can convert his loneliness into a solitude that can be shared.’-Henri Nouwen
‘Going nowhere ... isn’t about turning your back on the world; it’s about stepping away now and then so that you can see the world more clearly and love it more deeply.’- Pico Iyer
'A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men… of men in whom every vital impulse slowly withers, as though they were cut flowers in a vase.'-Bertrand Russell
…’because I live in a society that tells me I should never be alone. I live in a society that tells me I should always be connected, I should always be doing something,... We’ve become so busy that our days are mapped out to the second, our sleep is forced off rhythm by lack of time, our solitude is planned out to the minute, and we’re expecting ourselves to do it all. Another paradox to explore is that solitude was birthed in community; as we cannot know summer without winter, we lose sight of solitude when we isolate ourselves from community. Do the people around me truly know my needs in and out of solitude? How can we encourage one another to find those crevices of ourselves to love and explore more. How can we truly go away from commitments and people to come back more full of love, understanding, and compassion towards ourselves and others?’... Cassidy Hall*
Happiness is to Do Nothing
Today sitting in our garden, enjoying a most beautiful sunrise, in this most beautiful sunny day in Coventry, I began to read a rewarding article that had just arrived on my Ipad, when I turned it on, after my silent moments of stillness in the garden, just doing nothing, but, enjoying thoroughly what nature has to offer.
I began to read. I very much enjoyed it. It fitted nicely with my own thoughts and ideas on what this journey we call life is all about.
Now, you know me: When I come across something good and inspiring, I cannot rest, until I share it with all. So, there you have it.
First, the story I read this morning. And, then, perhaps, it will be a good idea to expand a bit on it. This very old, ancient story of 'Happiness and Doing Nothing', deserves a deeper coverage, I thought.
The story which I read this morning was under the heading of Oprah Winfrey has revealed the secret to her happy life. Oprah believes that the secret to her happy life is: when she does nothing!
“No, my guilty pleasure is, I do nothing. I live in a very beautiful space that I created, and every time I leave home and I’m driving out the back with the pond and the ducks, and I’m looking at the grass and I see the house on the hill, I have this moment where I think about when Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz, ‘I learnt I didn’t have to look further than my own backyard.’
Winfrey is not the first to suggest that boredom is key to a happy life: in 1932, esteemed philosopher Bertrand Russell suggested that ‘doing nothing’ is essential for our emotional wellbeing.
“The conception of duty, speaking historically, has been a means used by the holders of power to induce others to live for the interests of their masters rather than for their own.”― Bertrand Russell
In Praise of Idleness By Bertrand Russell
“A life too full of excitement is an exhausting life, in which continually stronger stimuli are needed to give the thrill that has come to be thought an essential part of pleasure,” he said.
“Too little [excitement] may produce morbid cravings, too much will produce exhaustion. A certain power of enduring boredom is therefore essential to a happy life, and is one of the things that ought to be taught to the young.”
Russell’s words have since been proven true by countless scientific studies. Indeed, as researcher and philosophy professor Andreas Elpidorou explains in a psychology journal article that cites numerous studies, boredom “acts as a regulatory state that keeps one in line with one’s projects”.
“In the absence of boredom, one would remain trapped in unfulfilling situations, and miss out on many emotionally, cognitively, and socially rewarding experiences,” writes Elpidorou.
The Italians have a concept for pottering around known as “La Dolce Far Niente,”which means the sweetness of doing nothing.-The Art of Doing Nothing
What is this life all about?
Why am I here? What’s my Life’s purpose? How can I make the most of my Life?
The link noted below are amongst my Blog postings which are there to provide ideas for inspirational stories for everyone, encouraging contemplation, soul searching and spiritual enrichment.