Is it a waste of time to…

 

no sun, only its rays
Even though I could not see the sun, evidence was all around.

 

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

-John Lubbock

I was thinking about all the many times that I have been told I am wasting time.  What does that even mean?  Is it possible to waste something that doesn’t really exist? What is time anyway?

Time:  The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, the present, and the future regarded as a whole. (Thanks google)

So if time is indefinite, how can we waste it?  Yet people have a keen sense of when they are wasting time.

Is it a waste of time to…

Stare at a starry sky and ponder the universe?

Is it a waste of time to…

Enjoy the crisp clean air of a mountain top conquered?

Is it a waste of time to…

Sit in a cubicle and stare at a computer screen as you mindlessly work and attempt to not fall asleep?

Is it a waste of time to…

Watch hilarious cat videos on YouTube through your Apple TV?

The more I think about it the less I believe that there is wasted time.  Every single action, every single inaction, and every single choice is a measure of time being used.  Those who “waste” their time, are really learning the value of time, which is invaluable.

Those who “waste” time will eventually regret it.  Why is this so?

The human race is a creative force that must act or be acted upon.  To create is to use time to our best advantage.  To create is to use time to help others. To create is to oppose destruction.  There is a saying I found on Brainy Quote that I find profound:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

In my opinion this quote defines “wasting” time.  How can a person do nothing though?

Going out in the hills and sitting – contemplating creation… You are doing something.

Looking at the immense vastness of a starry sky – contemplating creation… You are doing something.

This may be considered a waste of time by shallow minded folk, but it is not.  By contemplating you are creating questions and connecting dots.  Contemplation is a necessary force of creation.   This force is wasted in abundance in our society of noise filled everything.  Our phones interupt it, radios interupt it, social media noise interiors it.  I am sitting in my living room at four in the morning – and my clock on the wall is ticking so loudly, that it has interrupted it.  Just a simple click, click, click.  Passage of time measured, click, click, click.  Forever telling me that infinite time is passing to history.

I have been reading Henry David Thoreau recently and he has some very interesting ideas of time.  In his book Walden, Thoreau expresses how we in the present rest between two eternities.  The eternal future and the eternal past.  I love this concept.  It really places emphasis on now, the present.

Our choice of how to use our time is exactly that.  Our choice.  Since we stand in the middle of two eternities, those choices are very important.  The present if not acted upon goes into the eternity of the past and cannot be attained again.  Looking to the future eternity you can realize potential only when we act.

Inaction is a “waste” of time.  When you see evil progressing in the world, you can matter-of-factory know that there are good men doing nothing.  Sitting on the stage of the present and doing nothing. Not progressing, not doing, not creating.  To paraphrase the wise turtle in Kung Fu Panda: Do not waste the gift of the present that you have been.

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