The Art of Doing Nothing

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Student Relaxing
Media by Cullen Beatty

The art of doing nothing is a long lasting tradition. Having been passed down generation to generation, it has lineage back to the dawn of time. Everyone is capable of learning this ancient art, and I would recommend its practice to anyone who would listen. Sadly very few will ever know true enlightenment. Thankfully I am a strict adherent to the art, so allow me to share what I know.

Media by Cullen Beatty

A biologist would say that doing nothing is an impossibility due to inherent cellular action. The physicist would go further, referring to the temperature of absolute zero, or perhaps phenomena such as quantum fluctuations or cosmic background radiation. A meditative monk might say that doing nothing is to empty your mind and experience tranquility. Anything can be considered nothing to a teenager. The point is that doing nothing is different for everyone. Sometimes a person thinks they are doing nothing but they are in fact doing something. It’s a very delicate balance. I asked a friend of mine, an overseas German graduate student at Kaiserslautern University, what he considered doing nothing, “I waste time on Discord, on writing stuff, on gaming and on researching bizarre and complicated scientific things that won’t benefit me in my actual life in any way.” He’s an odd one and I tend to questions his sanity, but he often has great insight. An ancient Greek philosopher even has thoughts on the matter. Epicurus stated that you should do nothing but what is necessary, then spend the rest of the time doing things you liked to do. Truly a great philosophy to have in my opinion. To me, doing nothing is being able to do something you enjoy while letting yourself be lost in it. Half paying attention to music as you just lay down, letting Netflix play in the background as you sit next to the fireplace. Doing nothing is a release of everything for pure relaxation.

Media by Cullen Beatty

The importance of doing nothing should already be apparent. The shedding of piled up stress so you can enjoy yourself with no worries, if not for a little bit. Everyone needs some time off. Too much stress upon the body often has negative consequences. Physical ailments leading to pain, an inability to sleep properly, and it has even been linked to depression in some people. With these problems looming over our shoulder, it’s good to remember to take it easy once in a while. Find what you like to do, something you can lose yourself in. Even the old POTUS, George W. Bush, knew the importance of taking it easy. Spending a whole 1020 days on vacation time during his eight years in office. As stated earlier, every person is different. It might take a while to find that perfect something to do nothing with. The aforementioned president liked to go to his ranch. Being in his own sanctuary was enough.

Media by Cullen Beatty

I have my own way to do nothing, a strict routine I love to go through when I don’t have any work to do. This ritual starts by the time my last class gets out. As I walk to my car I usually contemplate the class or the weather. Preferring the cold days, I enjoy the smell of Autumn on the wind. When I get to the car I roll down my windows to feel the wind in my face. This is to cool me down in Summer, but in winter I need to blast the heat to keep myself from freezing. It may seem odd, but that’s how I enjoy it. Once I get home I kick of my shows and promptly flop onto my old beat up couch. From there I will scroll through my YouTube subscription feed. Some days there’s a decent amount of videos, but others will see it barren. Once I get through those I’ll usually hop into a game of Call of Duty or 2K until I get bored. If one of my friends happen to call me and suggest plans, I’ll go and do that. Something to change the pace. That’s pretty much it. When night comes, I go to bed and soon wake up for classes and a new day. Not a bad way to spend my time, since time wasted doing things you like isn’t time wasted at all.

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