I often consider how difficult I make life.
Usually these thoughts arise the night before a test, or a deadline of sorts. Deadlines however, are the motive behind any kind of production, In my opinion. Deadlines evoke an anxiety, that things have to be completed, started, and constantly in motion. There is always a grand event or great importance in life, and in my case, these events happen to be multitudinous and seem to occur all at once.
But, perhaps I am being dramatic.
How To Be Idle, by Tom Hodgkinson points out societal hypocrisies and pressures. He challenges the importance of these pressures and institutions. Hodgkinson criticizes the teachings of several well-accepted notions and works of society. He does this undauntedly from criticizing anyone from Benjamin Franklin, to anything, such as the Bible.
He begins by illustrating the difficulty in getting out of bed. He argues that waking up early in the morning to do work, should not be a primary concern of life. Instead, one should be able to sleep in, and wake up whenever they would feel like. He illustrates the challenges between social classes, and gives a proletariat look at common societal structures. Hodgkinson argues that for the amount of discomfort individuals have towards performing work, there’s never been a war declared on doing work.
Hodgkinson writes to question common structures. He writes to provoke thought in the reader and invites the reader to find their own simple pleasures in life and to not be bogged down by the anxiety of work. He instructs that his audience stay in bed, embrace their hangovers, and engage in self meditation and reflection.
These practices can be related to several aspects in life, especially in those in reference to conservation. Although Hodgkinson mainly focuses on conservation of individual energy, being idle can be practiced on a larger scale. For instance, closing a school or business an hour earlier saves these institutions hundreds of dollars in energy expenses, allowing employees to work from home cuts down on energy use and expense as well.
The process of not producing, could probably in many cases be as beneficial as producing on several levels.
I’ve never had a problem with a nap during the day myself. Consider how much more productive a noon hour siesta could be to Western civilization…
After reading How to Be Idle, I find that I can relate myself to the author’s points rather well. Perhaps I need to practice embracing my hangover, and take a step back to admire simple objects instead as opposed to finding entertainment in difficult and unfulfilling tasks.