Tuesday, 8 February 2011

In praise of Idleness (first published circa 2005)

I have long held that sleeping and lying abed are the principal foundations for the good life. And contrary to being a waste of life, as is often asserted, idle time is precious indeed. Without it, we are unable to reflect on what we are and what we do; instead, we slavishly follow prescriptions devised by those most likely to profit from their execution. We become, as a result, automatons, blindly pursuing someone else's agenda. From the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution when men began, for the first time, to work by the clock, an insidious philosophy was impregnated into their souls; a belief so deeply ingrained, many believe it to be a self-evident fact of the Universe. The three central tenets of this doctrine being: time is precious; time is money; work is good for the soul. Thus was created The Work Ethic.

Since time immemorial artists have known the necessity of idling time. Without this freedom to meditate and dream, creativity perishes, leaving in its wake a formulaic existence, a mechanical procedure devoid of novelty. But this too applies to all of us, for though we desire compassion and empathy from our fellow men, these things are best learned through meditation, introspection, and importantly, rest; but if this soil in which they grow is not present, can we expect anything other than what we have? Never has there been a time more crucial than now for raising awareness of idling time's theft. Let's regain what we once had and take to our beds and sofas. To sleep, perchance to dream...

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Well.. as someone who must be quite an artist indeed.. I agree :)

leoni said...

I need a nap :)

Sari said...

Yay, all idlers unite!

PAMO said...

This line says it all: "for though we desire compassion and empathy from our fellow men, these things are best learned through meditation, introspection, and importantly, rest".

Unfortunately, I had the "work ethic" tattooed on my brain in the womb. I now soldier on through life dragging my pail of emotional turmoil behind me. And some days, I do just fine.

Ronald said...

Michelle Hehe! Nice one.

Leoni Ooh, the quips keep coming!

Sari Yay, lets... let's all get together and do... erm... nothing. Yay!

PAMO Don't give up the fight. Go lie down and thing of nothing in particular. You deserve it :-)

Maundering mutterer said...

Collapses in front of desk, closes eyes... aaaaah, that's nice. Yes, you're right. I can feel the benefits already.

Thought provoking post.

Ronald said...

MM Yes, it is thought provoking, and a vexed topic too, but for me, I simply remember the maxim, "When on their deathbed, no one ever showed concern about affairs at the office!". We need time. We need space.

Gershplundenheit!