Doing nothing on weekends

waiting-for-the-weekend-by-withold-rybczynskiThere have always been breaks from the routine of work–taboo days, market days, public festivals, holy days–we couldn’t survive without them. In Waiting for the Weekend, Witold Rybczynski unfolds the history and evolution of leisure time in Western civilization, from Aristotle, through the Middle Ages, to the present. Along the way, he explores how the psychological needs that leisure time seeks to fulfill have changed as the nature of work has changed.

A history of how the weekend came to be and an exploration of what it means to take a weekly break from work. To get an idea of whether you’d like the book (which is sadly out-of-print), read The Atlantic essay of the same name.

Withold Rybczynski ends Waiting For the Weekend with a warning: The weekend has imposed a rigid schedule on our free time, which can result in a sense of urgency (“soon it will be Monday”) that is at odds with relaxation. The weekly rush to the cottage is hardly leisurely, nor is the compression of various recreational activities into the two-day break. The freedom to do something has become the obligation to so something….”

The weekend has become the chief temporal institution of modern age, it was invested as a retreat and refuge from labor. Think about it, few of us regularly ask each other, “How was your(work) week?”. But the salutation and interrogative, “How was your weekend?” is common.

Weekends, Rybczynski suggests, are in danger of becoming their own antithesis. We try too hard to make up for the “pain and emptiness” of the week by doing things and staying busy all weekend long.

For too many of us, concludes Rybczynski, weekend represents a different and sometimes a more pleasant way of staying busy and consuming time. But he says, genuine free time, real leisure, must remain just that” “Free of the encumbrance of convention, free of the need of busyness, free for the ‘noble habit of doing nothing.'” And clearly, “doing nothing” does not describe the modern weekend.

making-space-for-nothing

Aristotle wrote, “We work, in order to have leisure.” Today, this is still true. But is the leisure that Aristotle spoke of, “the freedom to do nothing”, the same as the leisure we look forward to each weekend?

 

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More money will not solve your problems

I wish I was rich, I wish I was I had more money, then all of my problems would have been solved and I will be living a dream life.

That is how most of us react when we face any financial problems. All we need to understand is that having money will not solve the problems alone. If you think lack of money is your problem and getting more money will solve all your problems; then you are completely mistaken. Most people, given more money, only get into more debt.

Jim Rohn was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. He was guided by Earl Shoaff, another entrepreneur. So one day Jim asked the same question to Shoaff. Jim said that if he had more money then he’d be happy. To this, Mr. Shoaff replied – “The key to happiness is not more money. Happiness is an art to be studied and practiced. More money will make you more of what you already are.”

What Mr. Shoaff meant was that merely having more money will not change you from what you really are. More money will only send you more quickly to your destination. So if you are inclined to be unhappy you’ll remain unhappy with more money, though you will be crying on a silver mattress rather than on cotton coir but you would still be crying. If you are inclined to waste money and take debt and loan, then with more money you will you will only waste more and get into bigger debt.

On the other hand if you are generous, more money will simply allow you to be more generous. If you are a person who likes to help people, then with more money you will be able to help larger number of people.

Remember, money is nothing but an amplifier, it amplifies your internal habits. So if you want to be rich and happy then you need to change your perspective and habits about money.

If money is your problem, then money can not be the solution.

 

Always Stay A Student

Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

The great manager and business thinker Peter Drucker says that it’s not enough simply to want to learn. As people progress, they must also understand how they learn and then set up processes to facilitate this continual education. Oth­erwise, we are selling ourselves — and our careers — dreadfully short. The maxim for every successful person, after all, is – “Always stay a student”:

Too often, convinced of our own intelligence or success, we stay in a comfort zone that ensures that we never feel stupid (and are never challenged to learn or reconsider what we know). It obscures from view various weaknesses in our under­standing, until eventually it’s too late to change course. This is where the silent toll is taken.

…the solution is as straightforward as it is initially uncom­fortable: Pick up a book on a topic you know next to noth­ing about. Put yourself in rooms where you’re the least knowledgeable person. That uncomfortable feeling, that defensiveness that you feel when your most deeply held assumptions are challenged — what about subjecting your­self to it deliberately? Change your mind. Change your surroundings.

Source: The Maxim For Every Successful Person; ‘Always Stay A Student’

International Day of Non-Violence

“There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.”

Mahatma Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments with Truth, 1927

Mahatma Gandhi’s first Salt Satyagrah was inspired by Imam Hussain’s non-violent resistance to the tyranny of Yazid. Mahatma Gandhi is said to have studied the history of Islam and Imam Hussain (A), and was of the opinion that Islam represented not the legacy of a sword but of sacrifices of saints like Imam Hussain (A).

Mahatma Gandhi wrote:“My faith is that the progress of Islam does not depend on the use of sword by its believers, but the result of the supreme sacrifice of Hussain (A), the great saint.”

The sculpture "Non-Violence"
The sculpture “Non-Violence”

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. This day is referred to in India as Gandhi Jayanti. It is, the United Nations writes, an opportunity to “disseminate the message of non-violence” with the goal of “securing a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding”.

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi inspired countless others with his philosophy, including Nobel Prize-winning scientist Albert Einstein. In celebration of non-violence, and the history of social change it has helped achieve, here are few quotes from cultural leaders on the topic:

  • “Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil,” — Albert Einstein

  • “Non-violence doesn’t mean we have to passively accept injustice. We have to fight for our rights, we have to oppose injustice. Gandhi fervently promoted non-violence, but that didn’t mean he was complacently accepting of status quo. He resisted, but he did so without doing harm.” — Dalai Lama

  • “Non-violence means avoiding avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse t0 shoot a man, but also refuse to hate him.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • “We do not need guns and bombs to bring peace. We need love and compassion.” — Mother Teresa

  • “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” — Thomas Edison

 

 

LEISURE

I looks like a myth that in the olden days (about 3 decades back) , people used to spend their Free time enjoying the beauty of nature and appreciating the gift of life. There were less things to worry about and even less things to be afraid of.

In those days, people were mostly afraid of their death or the death of loved ones, now we are afraid of loosing job, house or cars.

Everyone is trying to get rich and successful. Let me give an inference from Calvin and Hobbes:

 “I have no idea why human beings have developed all this technology to help them when all it does is make their lives busier. People are less patient now than they used to be 10 years ago. When computers were invented, if someone wanted to have their program executed, they had to use punched cards to have their program written. And very few people had computers, so they used to submit their decks of punched cards in offices that had computers. People had to wait for days to get solutions to their programs. Now that we have developed such high speed computers and super computers, even a few seconds of lag drives us insane. If human beings actually wanted to enjoy leisure, we never would’ve developed these machines. They delude us with the idea of making lives simpler when in reality, they are complicating it even more.”

Calvin-and-Hobbles

We have no time to appreciate this life. We spent a lifetime trying to amass wealth that will last a lifetime. What we fail to realize is that our time in this world is limited. Why not do things that make us happy. Money is a small part of life. Travel, relax, have fun and live life.

It’s funny how day by day, nothing changes. But when you look back everything is different.
— Calvin & Hobbes

Made in Japan

Apparently the Apple Co.  decided to have some of its iPhone parts manufactured in Japan as a trial project.

In the specifications, they set out that they will accept only 5 defective parts per 20,000.

When the delivery came in there was an accompanying letter.

‘We, Japanese people, had a tough time understanding American Business practices.

But the five defective parts per 20,000 have been separately manufactured and have been included in the consignment in a separate packaging clearly mentioned

‘Defective pieces as per requirement, not for use’.

Hope the products are to your satisfaction.’

Sunday Morning Thoughts

  • When bird is alive, it eats Ants. When bird is dead, Ants eat bird.
  • Time can turn at any time, Don’t devalue anyone in life. YOU may be powerful But time is more powerful than you.
  • One tree makes one lac match sticks, but one match stick can burn one lac trees”.
  • One negative thought can burn all positive thoughts.
  • Something we should do about – Learn to Respond.
  • We react which can destroy positive thoughts and relationships before we realize.
  • Similarly, learn to Appreciate than critic everything. Criticizing everything can leave you alone.