Quotes for
the Journey:

Idleness

  
If you are idle, be not solitary;
If you are solitary, be not idle.

Samuel Johnson

   
Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end.  It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing.  It's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it.       -Margaret Thatcher
   

If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.        -Lin Yutang

   
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.       -George Bernard Shaw
   

A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work.        -Geoffrey Norman

   
Ennui has made more gamblers than avarice, more drunkards than thirst, and perhaps as many suicides as despair.        -Charles Caleb Colton
    
Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.        -Bertrand Russell
   
The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored people are consuming much and producing nothing.        -Dean Inge
   
In idleness there is perpetual despair.       -Thomas Carlyle

  
Idle people are dead their life long.        -Thomas Fuller
   
Idleness has long been regarded as an evil, but many people don't realize just why.  What's wrong with being idle?  What's wrong with hanging around day after day, doing little to nothing constructive?  The answer (as with everything else in life) has to do with several things:  not having any sense of accomplishment, where your thoughts go when you're idle, and how you get along with others with others when you're idle.

I've gone through several periods of idleness in my life, none of them by choice.  I've gone through periods of a month or two with literally nothing to do, being stuck in a city where I knew nobody at all and had no money at all to go to the places where I could meet people.  I knew that I wouldn't be around long enough to get a job or get to know anyone well, and I was pretty much stuck in one spot.  Those periods have been the most difficult of my life, for those have been the times when I've had the least to do and I've been the least constructive.  I've wanted to do something, but I haven't had the resources to get anything done, so I've been kind of stuck, feeling pretty hopeless and useless.

Sociologists find that these feelings are very common among people who are in areas that have very poor economies, where there are high levels of unemployment, or where the jobs are completely unskilled and very repetitious.  When I lived in Spain, in an area of almost 20% unemployment, I saw an awful lot of people--especially young men--hanging around, doing nothing.  They had no work, and worse, no hope of finding work.  They felt hopeless; they felt useless.  And they mostly hung around in bars, spending the very little money they had on wine or beer, watching television with their friends.  I felt somewhat bad being there, especially since I was a foreigner in their country and I had work, but that was life--I had a skill that they didn't have, and there was no way that they could have done the job I was doing (teaching English).

Even worse, many people with nothing to do become seriously depressed--they have far too much time to be introspective, far too much time to dwell on their situations and let the feelings grow and feed upon themselves until they become dark and overpowering.

Why is crime much more predominant in such areas?  How about feelings of hopelessness?  How about the lack of constructive activity?  How about feelings of being abandoned or shunned or ignored by the very society that claims to care for its citizens?

I suppose that the point here is that we have to try to understand where people in this situation are coming from, so that we don't judge them too harshly.  Some choose their course, and don't want to have anything to do, but others aren't so fortunate, and they're where they're at through no choice of their own.  If we want to make a serious dent in the levels of crime in our country, in the number of people who suffer from serious depression, we need to find ways to give people something constructive to do.  We need to give them a chance to be contributing members of society, to find that sense of accomplishment.  This won't be a cure-all, but it will certainly help things.

You see, people who are in these situations can't be living life fully, usually through no fault of their own.  They don't determine how the economy moves, and they don't determine which employers move into their towns.  If we can do anything for the world, we can help people find their gifts, develop their gifts, and actually use their gifts for constructive purposes.  Over and over, I see and read that such people are the ones who get the most out of life, and who help others to do the same.

tom walsh

   
    
Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance, self-control, diligence, strength of will, content, and a hundred other virtues which the idle never know.     -Charles Kingsley
  
There is a fundamental law that the tissue of the human body will waste away through idleness and disuse. Conversely, muscles and vessel that are stressed grow and increase in capacity.  This same basic law also applies to spiritual and intellectual growth and can be achieved only by continual nourishment and effort in day-to-day living.     -Clarence F. Robison
  
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.     -John Lubbock
  
People are not made to rust out in idleness.  A degree of exercise is as necessary for the preservation of health, both of body and mind, as our daily food.  And what exercise is more fitting, or more appropriate of one who is in the decline of life, than that of superintending a well-ordered garden?  What more enlivens the sinking mind?  What is more conducive to a long life?     -Joseph Breck
  
Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds.     -Philip Stanhope
  
Poverty is not dishonorable in itself, but only when it comes from idleness, intemperance, extravagance and folly.      -Plutarch
  
From its very inaction, idleness ultimately becomes the most active cause of evil; as a palsy is more to be dreaded than a fever.  The Turks have a proverb which says that the devil tempts all other people, but that idle people tempt the devil.     -Charles Caleb Colton
  
Idle people are often bored and bored people, unless they sleep a lot, are cruel. It is not accident that boredom and cruelty are great preoccupations in our time.     -Renata Adler
  
If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.     -Lin Yutang
  
One that is busy is tempted by but one devil; one that is idle, by a legion.     -Thomas Fuller
  
The soul is made for action, and cannot rest till it be employed.  Idleness is its rust.  Unless it will up and think and taste and see, all is in vain.     -Thomas Traherne
  
A person is not idle because he or she is absorbed in thought.  There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.     -Michel de Montaigne
  

   

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