At times, perhaps without quite knowing why,
we slip into a resolutely ‘ lazy’mood.
We’re simply not able to write anything new
or can’t face setting up more meetings.
We don’t want to clean the fridge
or go out to befriend prospective clients.
All we have an appetite for, it seems,
is to loll on the sofa and maybe dip randomly into a book,
wander down to the shops and buy a pack of biscuit
or spend an hour or so soaking in the bath.
We might at an extreme,
merely want to sit by the window
and stare at the clouds for a long time.
In such state of mind,
we’re rapidly liable to be stigmatized as
profoundly and incorrigibly ‘ lazy ’
by friends or more painfully by our own conscience.
Laziness feels like
a sin against the bustling activity of modernity
It seems to bar us from living successfully
or from thinking in any way well of ourselves.
But to consider the matter from another perspective,
it might be that at points the real threat to our happiness
and self-development lies not in our failure to be busy,
but in the very opposite scenario:
in our inability to be ‘lazy’ enough.
Outwardly idling does not have to mean that
we are neglecting to be fruitful.
It may look to the world
as if we are accomplishing nothing at all
But below the surface,
a lot maybe going on that’s both important
and in its own way very difficult.
When we’re busy with routines and administration,
we focus on those elements that
sit at the front of our minds.
We’re executing plans
rather than reflecting on their value and ultimate purpose.
But it is to the deeper,
less accessible zones of our inner lives that we have to turn
in order to understand the foundations
of our problems and arrive at decisions and conclusions
that can govern our overall path.
Yet these only emerge,shyly and tentatively
when we are feeling brave enough
to distance ourselves from immediate demands.
when we can stare at clouds
and do so-called nothing all afternoon
while in fact wrestling with our most profound dilemmas.
We need to distinguish between emotional and practical hard work.
Someone who looks extremely active,
whose diary is filled from morning till night,
who is always running to answer messages
and meet clients may appear the opposite of lazy,
but secretly, there may be a lot of avoidance
going on beneath the outward frenzy.
Busy people can evade a different order of undertaking.
They are practically a hive of activity,
yet they don’t get round to
working out their real feelings.
They constantly delay the investigation of their own lives.
They are lazy when it comes to understanding particular emotions.
Their busy-ness may be
a subtle but powerful form of distraction.
Our minds are in general a great deal readier to execute than to reflect.
They can be rendered deeply uncomfortable
by so-called large questions:
What am I really trying to do?
What do I actually enjoy ?
Who am I trying to please?
By contrast, the easy bit can be the running around,
they never pausing to ask why,
they repeatedly ensuring that there isn’t a moment to
have doubts or feel sad or searching.
Busyness can maska vicious form of laziness.
Our lives might be a lot more balanced
if we learnt to re-allocate prestige,
putting it away from those with a full diary,
and towards those wise enough
to allow for some afternoons of reflection.
We should think that there is courage
not just in travelling the world,
but also in daring to sit at home
with one’s thoughts for a while,
risking encounters with certain anxiety-inducing
or melancholy but also highly necessary ideas.
Without the shield of busyness,
we might bump into the realisation
that our relationship has reached an impasse,
that our work no longer answers to any higher purpose
or that we feel furious with a family member
who is subtly exploiting our patience.
The heroically hard worker isn’t necessarily the one
in the business lounge of the international airport,
it might be the person gazing
without expression out of the window,
and occasionally writing down one or two ideas
on a pad of paper.
The point of so-called ‘ doing nothing’
is to clean up our inner lives.
There is so much that happens to us every day,
so many excitements, regrets, suggestions and emotions that we should,
太多的喜悦 悔恨 建议和情绪
if we are living consciously,
spend at least an hour a day processing.
Most of us manage, at best, a few minutes
and thereby let the marrow of life escape us.
We do so not because we are forgetful or bad,
but because our societies protect us from
our responsibilities to ourselves
through their cult of activity.
We are granted every excuse
not to undertake the truly difficult labour
of leading more conscious, more searching
and more intensely felt lives.
So the next time we feel extremely lazy,
we should imagine that
perhaps a deep part of us is
preparing to give birth to some big thoughts.
As with a pregnancy, there is no point hurrying the process.
We need to lie still and let the idea gestate
sure that it may eventually prove they’re worth.
We may need to risk being accused
of gross laziness in order one day
to put in motion projects and initiatives we can feel proud of.
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At times, perhaps without quite knowing why,