Thoughts on doing and being

July 7, 2007

When I read it, I thought….

That is an excellent post (well, imo anyway)…and Rohan is doing something which very few people actually do…taking conscious time-off.

I have always been very impressed with the words of my son-in-law’s dad, who, after quitting his job as the head of a group of newspapers (you can imagine, his office address was “One, City Center”! struggled to lead a quieter life…and he said, “we seem to be always human ‘doings’..never human ‘beings’.” Very wise. How many of us CAN just BE instead of constantly doing something? The first question is to anyone, after asking the name, is, “and what do you do?”

One reason, of course, is economic; as Rohan points out, the loss of revenue during an off-period may not be affordable and that could rule it out entirely.

But even if we could afford it…how many of us would be comfortable doing nothing at all for some time? We would still feel the need to DO something else…travel to XYZ destination, some other course to attend, things to take care of…a week of “doing nothing” would surely be classified as a waste of time, and we would lead the list of classifiers!

And I think activity is hard-wired into us;if we are not hunting/gathering in reality, we should be doing it figuratively; we must at the very least have some “time-pass” as it is so graphically called in India…at least gaping at the idiot box and its images of frenetic activity elsewhere.

A few days ago, in the middle of a hectic day, I decided to spend twenty minutes just wandering around in Lalbagh. The twenty minutes stretched to more than an hour; but the sense of peace that came from that hour is truly priceless.

I am truly thankful to be privileged enough to have enough leisure in my life, and to have the ability to appreciate that privilege.