Life should be about doing what we want rather than what we have to do as dictated by politicians, news casters, Hollywood and social engineering.
Certainly we have obligations and responsibilities to God, our family, our traditional American values and work, but mastering the art of simplicity and doing more of what I want to do has taken a lifetime of study.
I’m not buying the new socialism agenda of controlling our American freedoms. Preventing and limiting citizens rights to worship, shop and communicate goes against the grain while we see liquor stores, casinos and hemp shops open.
Certain political groups are allowed to riot, destroy and hurt, while others can’t peacefully assemble without being accused of doing exactly the opposite.
Idleness implies that there is nothing to be done that is worthy of time or effort. But as long as there are people who are lost without Christ, there is always something to be done.
To combat the tendency to be idle, our family cultivates the habits of prayer, Bible study, meditation, and service. There is always someone who needs help, prayer, or encouragement.
Waking Up is Hard to Do
According to the book How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson we should be free to lead our lives as we choose. A bit of ‘time-wasting’ isn’t bad if it enhances our happiness.
A little down-time can actually be very productive as it allows us to step back and examine what we are doing, and creative inspiration often comes subconsciously in background thought. Maximum productivity does not translate to maximum happiness.
Toil and Trouble
Hodgkinson also says that self-employed independence is a much happier state than employment as a slave, and before the Industrial Revolution that is how most people worked. But in pursuit of enhanced productivity, society seeks to force all citizens into compliant productiveness, even if they are not made happier so.
Political doctrines have served to further this aim, and these days advertising keeps us trapped in materialistic status-seeking.
Robert Louis Stevenson noted in 1885 that ‘Idleness … does not consist in doing nothing, but in doing a great deal not recognized in the dogmatic formularies of the ruling class.’
John Keats declared that ‘it is more noble to sit like Jove than to fly like Mercury’.
Oscar Wilde lauded the ‘life that has for its aim not doing but being, and not being merely, but becoming’. And yet idlers are often viewed by society as people with too much time to think, who could become revolutionaries.
Skiving for Pleasure and Profit
Skiving is a legitimate reclaim of one’s free time for fulfilling pursuits not approved and dictated by society.
The Death of Lunch
Lunch should be an enjoyable end in itself, not just a refueling pit stop. Food should be savored, not gobbled down as ‘fast food’.
On being Ill
When we are ill, we are suddenly able to do exactly what we want to, without suffering any disapproval or guilt for doing so. Convalescence was in the past a lengthy time of healing; nowadays we pop a pill and rush back to work, which risks infecting others. We need to assign time for illnesses.
Interspersing naps between periods of activity is healthy and natural. Even very industrious people recognize the value of the nap – Winston Churchill took one every afternoon and viewed it as helping him to accomplish more, and businessmen extol the value of ‘power naps’.
Time for Tea
Drinking tea should be a leisurely affair, as an ideal accompaniment to philosophical meditation. Expedients such as tea-bags and drinks machines run contrary to the whole spirit of tea.
Walking should also be done at a leisurely pace, with mind immersed in contemplation, and eyes enjoying the feast of sights along the way rather than simply fixed upon the destination.
Walking is then a voyage of discovery and an act of carefree roaming, which can imbue us with spiritual freedom.
Fishing is an ideal activity for the natural idler, affording hours of quietly inspiring contemplation punctuated by occasional moments of exciting action.
The water has a mesmerizing effect, and catching a fish isn’t what matters: the real purpose is to enjoy the time and concentrate on simply being. Life should be about doing what we want to rather than what we have to, and mastering it is a lifetime’s study. But we all get there in the end, because death eventually brings total idleness.
The Idle Home
Planning negates our ability to go with the flow in life, and also brings a tendency to attempt to control other people’s lives along with our own.
Many Patriots (Farmers, ranchers, truckers, welders, plumbers, law enforcement, emergency responders…) prefer to keep their lives and living spaces simple, attuned to their own personal needs, and resisting the efforts of outsiders to persuade us to unnecessarily complicate or embellish them, or to impose their own meddling rules and principles upon them.
The Local Cafe
The local cafe stands as a central pillar of the community, and a free place of gathering for the common man. Their popularity cannot be quenched, either by government attempts to limit them or by exclusive trendy establishments seeking to displace them.
Boycotts and strikes are the perfect tool for some seeking to assert their rights. But if their grievances remain ignored, the Patriot may eventually be forced into action, at which times a lot of latent energy may be suddenly and violently released in the form of riots. In past centuries such resistance has fought against monarchs and governments, but today’s Patriots can battle consumer capitalism, seeking to be independent.
The Moon and the Stars
The mysterious majesty of the stars is an inspiration to idlers, who yearn to emulate their freedom and remote constancy.
Sex and Idleness
We should enjoy our sexuality free from guilt, whatever form it may take, Hodgkinson proposes. Sexual activity should be a relaxed and languorous pleasure, as opposed to either being merely functional or a forced demonstration of lovemaking skills and athletic prowess. Ideally, the rules of relationship conduct could be a little more relaxed too.
The Art of Conversation
Conversation should be animated, open, engaging, and unrestricted in form and time available.
Music can melt away our cares and procure us a transcendental spiritual experience. We cannot spend our entire lives in such a trance, but we can endeavor to bring some of its sense of ease and freedom into our normal lives.
Meditation provides an escape into a world of inner peace. There is no particular way in which it has to be done: simple daydreaming is enough, as is any relaxed chill-out after energy has been expended in joyful pursuits.
Sleep has a similar effect, and is an essential requirement for us to be able to function well. Sleep is natural, and is important for creativity: Albert Einstein slept ten hours every night.
Technology should focus on buying us increased time for sleep, rather than finding unnatural ways to overcome it.
Holidays are yet another way of escaping everyday life, and automated labor should allow us increased time off work. However it would be better if we could incorporate leisure time, fun and flexibility within our normal daily life, so that we could enjoy our entire lives, rather than enduring long drudgery which is periodically relieved by a few days to get away from it all.
A Waking Dream
In so doing, we can seek to weave our dreams into reality. Dreams reveal our true aspirations, as distinct from society-sponsored goals such as career and financial status. Our creativity comes alive in dreams, and falling in love is a state of immersion in them. The art of living is to bring dreams and reality together.
When our hearts are fully committed to the lordship of Jesus Christ, we cannot be idle for long because that is not what He would do. Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).
The Bible instructs us to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2). Anyone who is tempted to be idle should ask himself: What can I do right now to be one of His workers?