Complete rest. Busy doing nothing. Every now and again I enjoy down time.
Although it’s not strictly true that I’ve done ‘nothing’. I did get up. I have read my books. Meals were made and eaten. At the back of my mind information was being processed even if I wasn’t paying it any attention. There was a phone signal for about an hour so I replied to a couple of messages. Even in a ‘do nothing’ day I notice that I’m not really idle. Yet the words idle and lazy seem to carry big judgements too.
It’s interesting to me. The idea that if we aren’t running around piled up with tasks somehow we consider that to be lazy or idle. Yet in spiritual terms to sit silent and in contemplation is to devote myself to apparently doing nothing. I find stepping out of tasks or activities a challenge. Perhaps that is why I and so many other people have struggled to learn to meditate. In this modern world we seem keen to keep occupied every last second of the day. And sitting down to meditate is placed in the category of ‘doing nothing’. So perhaps I had to overcome some guilt caused by meditating. Perhaps I had to remove the judgement about what counts as laziness. And perhaps I had to learn that it’s ok to devote time to me rather than other people.
I am not a lazy person. I enjoy being busy. But would it matter if I was lazy or didn’t enjoy being busy? After all it’s only words.
I’ve thought about that a few times today. Who set the definition of laziness. Who’s standards am I applying? Of course I recognise that my parents had a view about laziness created by their life experiences. And the faith schools I attended placed a value on work and productivity arising out of their particular set of beliefs. I live in a country where the Industrial Revolution influenced ideas about basic necessities only being available to those who were prepared to work long hours in difficult conditions. It seems there are layers of meaning in the idea of laziness. I respond not only to my own view of this word but to all of these influences.
Even my statement I’m not a lazy person implies a judgement on others who appear to do more or less than me. Is it better to produce acres of widgets or to spend time on an inner journey producing self awareness? And why do I measure being busy anyway. I guess that’s why I love psychology so much. I’m trying to understand how I tick. What motivates me. I always feel that if I can strip away my assumptions, take the judgement out of the words we use and look at life from upside down I can free more of the true me.
A new look at judgement words?
I also feel it’s time for all of us to understand the push that the words lazy and idle are designed to give us. They filter in from an idea that our contribution to the world has to be measure in widgets not inspiration. That to spend time on personal growth or self development is an add on. I wonder if the end result of the push to be productive has really been to withdraw us from our spiritual connections almost completely? No wonder I need a retreat.
Day 254 of my blogging challenge.