Hey, What’s Wrong With Idleness?

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“What kind of man will feel depressed at being idle? There is nothing finer than to be alone with nothing to distract you,” said Kenko, a Japanese monk, in the 14th century. Well, I am not sure about you, curios reader, but I am one of those people depressed by the fear of idleness. When I find myself “not in action or at work”, the common definition of idleness, I am bothered by the vague feeling that my time is running out and that I could be spending it in a more productive way. So I usually end up doing something, anything, just so I won’t be idle anymore. But is idleness really bad?
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Meaninglessly Busy or Meaningfully Idle?

The Gardener's Hands by Leonard Franckowiak
The Gardener’s Hands by Leonard Franckowiak

I don’t know about you, but whenever idleness creeps over me I begin to feel uncomfortable and usually end up doing something, anything, even if it’s not at all important and I do it mechanically. Idleness brings with it, at least in my case, a sense of loss, of wasted time. However, though my conscience may be appeased by ceaseless activity, the results are not necessarily favorable. I can easily end up undoing something simply because I do it too much, or doing something that should have not been done in the first place, just to avoid idleness.

Continue reading “Meaninglessly Busy or Meaningfully Idle?”