The Daily Stoic for September 26th, “What Time Off Is For”.
“Leisure without study is death—a tomb for the living person.”SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 82.4
Today’s stoic meditation is asking us not to devote our time off to doing nothing. Instead of just lying at the beach, relaxing and thinking about nothing, it asks us to devote this time to actively observing the world around us or thinking about our place in the universe.
While I understand the idea of not wasting your whole life doing nothing, I am afraid I cannot completely agree with today’s stoic. Why?
What Time Off Is For
I think today’s stoic excerpt is again influenced by this “always productive, always relevant, always meaningful” philosophy. I can’t really relate to it.
Funny thing is, I am the kind of person that needs to do things. If I were rich, I still will work on new projects, compose music again, or perhaps build applications or any other stuff. I certainly won’t be idle doing anything.
But we have the right to do nothing during our time off. We deserve it. No, every moment in our lives needs not to be meaningful, or productive, or even useful.
“To sit around all day and do nothing? To watch endless amounts of television or simply travel from place to place so that you might cross locations off a checklist? That is not life. It’s not freedom either.”
We need moments in which we do nothing. I haven’t had proper vacations for years (meaning, being away for one entire week without my laptop with me). So yeah, I think I deserve to do nothing maybe for some days, without giving a shit about my place in the universe.
If that’s not life, or freedom, it gets pretty close to it in my opinion.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “What Time Off Is For”, presents a view of time off that I really can’t relate with. Closer to this North American culture of “everything needs to be productive, relevant and meaningful”. However, sometimes all we want is just to lie down at the beach for days without thinking.
I don’t think it’s such a sin.