Skip to main content

Anyone suffering from "Active Laziness"?

So, I'm currently reading "The Beginners Guide to Living" by Lia Hills.  It's about a boy who becomes acquainted with philosophy through the need to answer questions about living and dying and the meaning of life after his mother is killed in a car accident.

In the book, the boy is introduced to "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" by Sogyal Rinpoche.  Within the pages of the book, the boy is introduced to the concept of "active laziness", the need to keep busy in order to avoid thinking about one's own mortality, or even about other important things, like what makes the individual happy.  Or, in other words, it's easier to keep oneself distracted than face one's own demons - and for people who believe they have no demons to face, are you alive?

There is always plenty of discussion to be found about the fast paced nature of today's society.  The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, launched back in 1992, reflects on how people today fill their lives with endless activity and distraction.  Consumerism is a big part of that distraction.  Rinpoche views all of this as avoiding thinking about the nature of living and dying; he short time we have on this plain and what we do with that time, and how we feeling, or experience that period of living.

It certainly rings true for me.  Even with four children to raise and care for, a degree to finish and a household to maintain and keep running smoothly, I often feel I need to be doing MORE.  I often lament at not having the energy or time to do MORE.  So many people I know are the same.  Busy to the point of breaking down, but unable to cut right back because, well, because - they don't even seem to be able to articulate why.

Over-scheduling children is a hot topic.  Some believe parents schedule their children into many after school and weekend activities, not for the child's benefit (as they claim) but so they don't have worry about entertaining bored children.  The thing is, a bored children is just a child who hasn't yet discovered reflection, the ability to mull over their experiences.

I know I often feel lonely, not because I'm alone - I'm hardly ever alone - but because I fail to connect with other people.  Now, I have to ask myself, is the person I most failing to connect with, actually me?  Would I be better at connecting with other people if I understood myself better?  And how much do other people actually connect with one another (Dave asked me this one today).  Is shooting the breeze really connecting?  Is being in the same place as someone, talking to them, the same as actually connecting with another person.  Or is it just another way to distract oneself from being with oneself?

Frenetic energy springs to mind.  It's everywhere.  Everywhere we go, all the social media, shopping centres in particular, are BOOMING with frenetic energy.  If a person isn't comfortable in the calm quiet places, isn't that a problem?  If you cannot sit in a room with another human being without speaking, without the tv or the radio on, or something else to distract you - the computer, the phone, the book - can you really say you know how to be with yourself and with another person?

I sometimes sit just with myself and my thoughts.  I don't often with someone else and our thoughts.

Anyone else suffer from active laziness?

Comments

Rachael said…
I would say this is definitely a problem for many many people.

I posted on my FB status about the fact we are born with nothing and we leave with nothing. so you really do have to wonder why we are so consumed with looking after so much *stuff* in between while we're alive.

The problem is it is not an easy thing to change after decades of being a certain way. Even though I may know intuitively what is more important, it is easily forgotten as I get caught up in the day to day.

Popular posts from this blog

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...


At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?



As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …