There is always this person that our subconscious deviously brings up from time to time. It may be a previous significant other, a family member, or an old friend whom we have lost touch with. Each time this person is brought up, we feel a sense of longing. Why aren’t we still in touch? Why didn’t we spend more time together? Or why isn’t this person in my life anymore? Ultimately, we want to answer the question: what was it I did or did not do? Consequently, since the person is of the past, we do not have any means of answering this question. During our moments of weakness, we would ponder the causes which have separated us from each other; we constantly ask the question “why did this happen?” But again, since there is no real way to truly answer this question, our efforts end in frustration. If only there was some way we can make peace with ourselves.
One way we can solve this yearning is to consider the following. Imagine if you have a pet. You brought your pet into your life hoping to either improve its life or your own. You would go out of your way to give it the best life possible, knowing that the pet’s happiness will bring you much joy. However, all good things must come to an end; you are most likely to outlive your beloved pet. You must, by the forces of nature, leave them behind and move on. If you have experienced this before, then moving on from someone you once knew is very simple. You simply accept everything that has past as what it is: merely the past. The past is the past and we must live for the future.
Modern society often associates idleness as an undesirable and negative trait. We imagine an idle person as someone who is lazy and unproductive, being nothing more than deadweight for society. We have presumptions that if someone is idle, and not generating any value, they are somewhat a failure.
But note the opposite, someone who has constantly worked and ended up causing detrimental results to society. Consider the endeavors of Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor in early 19th century France. Due to the campaigning of the Grande Armée, against almost every European superpower, the French population and economy was devastated for years. If only somebody told Napoleon to take a vacation and be idle. There are many examples of people who seem to have been overly ambitious and caused more harm than value; the world might have been a much better place if only they were idle. If we accept people who do more harm than good, why can’t we accept people who simply do nothing?
We’ve all felt the guilt of being idle. We are wired to believe that unless we are on a continuous search for things to do, we are wasting time. We are always striving to achieve the next big goal, or to come up with the next grand idea. But being idle is not the same as wasting time. We must understand that idleness is equally as important as working. It is in times of idleness that we begin to seriously think about our lives. There are many questions in life that we cannot answer in haste. We need periods of idleness in which we simply appreciate and understand ourselves; and then can we truly learn to best enjoy our limited time on Earth.