The Joys of Idleness

Do you know how to enjoy the occasional inability to participate in the rat race? Or do you slow down and take stock of what’s going on in your life?

Many of us are often far too busy because we choose to be. We find ourselves trapped in situations virtually comparable to slavery.

Must we have material possessions to make us happy or be as good as our peers somehow? A scientific study I read about showed that people with more possessions are more insecure and less happy than those with less.

Could it be also that circumstances are putting us into a forced labor camp-like situation? Totalitarian regimes have a nasty habit of keeping their people so busy that they don’t have time to be idle and contemplate their desperate situation.

Is that what our corporatocracy has done to us? How did we let ourselves be squeezed into such a state of affairs?

The survival mindset requires making time to have some solitude for reflection and personal growth. Many of the world’s religions encourage this as well. Jesus Himself deliberately took time to pray..

What follows is an excerpt of an article on productive idleness by Claire Wolfe. It’s from the January/February 2008 issue of “Backwoods Home Magazine” and contains timeless advice.

The joys of idleness

By Claire Wolfe

Boredom. Yep, idleness—true idleness, not soccer games or cocktails by the pool, but absolute, true Just Doing Nothing—can be so boring you can almost hear your fingernails grow. This is exactly— precisely!—when idleness begins to get good. Just stay right at that spot. Don’t go turn on the TV set. Don’t call up a girlfriend. Don’t busy yourself in the woodshop (although later, much later, the woodshop may, for other reasons, become a place of joyful idleness). Just be bored for now. It isn’t fatal.

Eventually something, you can be sure of it, will bubble out of this deadening of mind and body. You’ll recall some old dream you never followed through on. You’ll start wondering how a prism works. You’ll invent a fictional alter-ego. You’ll remember a neglected knitting project from five years ago. You’ll design your dream house. Who knows?

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. (541)247-8900.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.