August 26, 2019

Save The Earth - Do Nothing

This looks like a nice place to lay down and do nothing for a few minutes.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water or watching the clouds float across the sky is by no mean a waste of time.”

- John Lubbock

I am liking this quote right now, as the signs of seasonal change are upon us. 

Precious hours of daylight are getting shorter, the hummingbird feeder is less crowded, the garden wants harvesting, and Southern Hemispherians are talking about spring again. 

I have to lie on the grass and enjoy summer before it is gone.

Back to the quote. 

Rest is good, but what's wrong with idleness? I fully endorse idleness. In any season. Anton Chekhov thought that "there is no happiness that is not idleness".

The world would be better off if everyone were restful, relaxed, still, quiet, sedentary, or idle, more often. Blasé Pascal agreed when he wrote, 

"All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone."

People in consumer cultures often report wanting to have a break from the drudgery of it all. Work. Shop. Repeat. When do we ever stop?

After several decades of labour saving devices, why do we still have no time to sit quietly in a room alone? Because in the non-stop world of consuming, our insatiable desires must be met 24/7.

What if we were to increase our relaxation/contemplation time by 5%? 10%? 50%? I can guarantee that would be a life changing event, and I speak from both a research perspective as well as personal experience.

Increasing our non-consumptive activities has the power to make us happier and healthier. 

And it would certainly result in less harm to the environment.

Save the Earth - Do nothing more often.


  1. AH nothing... what is that?

    1. It is an elusive creature that must be approached with care.

  2. Anonymous8/26/2019

    My biggest problem with going to work is not the work itself, it is that it eats up time when you could be doing the 'nothing' you need to do.

    Living itself takes up much time - cooking, cleaning, growing food, washing clothes, looking after family matters, paying the bills, jumping through hoops the government invents, protesting said hoops and the destruction of our precious earth home - so I am always desperate to just do...nothing. 'Nothing' relaxes, nourishes and rejuvenates and I need it to be able to continue living in a happy frame of mind.

    I am going to schedule in some 'nothing' for myself today even if the chores don't all get done. Thank you for the reminder.


    1. I find that even in a simple life it is possible to feel like one doesn't "have enough time". My life with Linda is actually very busy, even without outside work, or spending time shopping. We have to plan for down time, then take it, and enjoy it without guilt. It is a healthy dopamine rush.

  3. I am on bed rest to try and avoid a course of antibiotics. Supporting my immune system with rest and fluids the old-fashioned way. I like to think I am saving the earth at the same time. Multitasking!

    1. I read your blog post about your health predicament, and am so happy you had a positive resolution.

  4. I was idly working my way through older posts when I came across this. It brought back a memory of one of the few visits I was allowed with my father (not his fault/choice, if that matters) when I was a young child. We got in the car (I was living in Manitoba, he was visiting from northern British Columbia) and drove west. It was mid-August and the fields of ripening grain spread out toward the horizon in every direction. We pulled off the highway at one point, deep into the fields on an access road--I so clearly remember him rolling his eyes over the seemingly neverending fields, wiping away tears and muttering, "My god, what have we done do you?" My dad was seen by others (especially my mother) as a total weirdo but he was my hero. Thanks for a chance to share this. Mela

    1. Anonymous2/18/2023

      I tear up reading this over again. Thanks for sharing it.

      - Gregg


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