Doing nothing is very hard to do…
you never know when you’re finished. – Leslie Nielsen
Doesn’t it feel great to just do nothing? And yet I think that is even becoming a lost art. As Leslie Nielsen says, it’s hard to do.
Not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, we have become so connected with cell phones, e-mail and the Internet that it’s like we live in the middle of a spider’s web, with multiple strands leading to and from us to thousands, maybe even millions, Worldwide. And it’s very hard to disconnect and turn it off.
It seems like just about everyone has a cell phone, and at times it looks like everyone is talking to someone at the same time. Last summer I was in a Ruby Tuesday® having lunch, and four young ladies were seated at a table next to me. After giving their drink order, they all picked up cell phones and called someone they felt the need to connect with. When the waitress brought my food I asked her, “Do you think they’re talking to each other over the phones?” She laughed, stared at them for a minute and replied, “Could be!”
At no time that I was there did they disconnect and talk to each other. As a matter of fact, one wouldn’t stop talking long enough to give the waitress her order. And when conversation ended they would just call someone else. Now, that’s taking it to the extreme, but it does happen.
In an airport I noticed a man wearing two Bluetooth® earpieces. I heard a phone ringing and he pressed one headset to disconnect, as he pressed the other to make a connection with someone else.
Another incident is the guy in a McDonald’s® at the table next to mine eating breakfast, typing e-mails and taking a multitude of calls on his cell phone.
What would the lives of these people be like if suddenly all these things were taken away from them? Could they handle the silence? Could they do nothing?
Over the years I have learned the ability to turn off my mind and think of nothing. Just sit there and enjoy the quieting of my mind. To be still, and yet be able to function. This was hard to learn how to do, but well worth the effort. And it frustrated my late wife. She would ask, “You’re very quiet, what are you thinking?” and when I replied, “absolutely nothing,” she would sigh and puzzle how I could do that.
Can you do it? Can you just totally disconnect from the World and take a mental vacation? Can you still your life and your mind? Can you go on vacation and leave the cell phone and computer back at the hotel, and go out and have a good time without the need to stay connected? Can you? For the sake of your mental health, I hope you can.