Stillness: Art of doing nothing

charpai-under-tree-02

A hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

In my last post I collected three comics on Calvin and Hobbes on their adventure of doing nothing.

What does it mean to do nothing? I know what it means literally, but what would be Calvin’s take on this subject, I wonder

Does it really mean hanging on a tree trunk and settling for a snooze fully knowing that mum and dad are in charge, life is wonderful and there is not a thing to worry about? Perhaps that would make sense to a 5 year old, but me?

Or does it just mean what it does, namely not having anything specific to do marked on my calendar? What do you have to say Calvin? No meetings, no shopping, no work, no cooking & cleaning up?

What really is a “doing nothing” moments?

We live in a madly accelerating world, where new technologies — for all their benefits — are making our lives more crowded, chaotic and noisier than ever. There’s never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still.

A prolific journalist for Time magazine and a travel writer Pico Iyer, in his book The Art of Stillness, suggests that the greatest adventure may be found in going nowhere.

This book offers practical wisdom on reducing stress through stillness. In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.

In our chaotic time, the greatest luxury is actually the ability to go nowhere and do nothing. To Iyer, it’s this time for quiet, inward, still reflection that snaps all of our experiences into focus.

Doing nothing…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.

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